Advertisement

Max Homa wins Sun City tournament by four shots

AP PHOTO

American Max Homa has converted his overnight one-shot lead into a four-stroke triumph at the Nedbank Challenge on Sunday, winning the tournament dubbed 'Africa's major' at the first attempt.

The 32-year-old Californian carded a six-under 66 in Sun City for a 19-under-par total of 269 to collect the $US1,000,025 ($A1.6 million) winner's cheque, well ahead of Ryder Cup rival Nicolai Hojgaard, who finished on 273.

It was Homa's first international triumph as he roared back to subdue the challenge of Hojgaard's Danish compatriot Thorbjorn Olesen, who had launched an early charge on Sunday but slumped in the final holes at the Gary Player Country Club, eventually finishing third on 274.

Homa, playing in his first tournament since starring for the Americans during their defeat at the Ryder Cup in Rome last month, had a one-shot advantage at the start of the final round at the casino resort, some 200km north west of Johannesburg.

But he was caught by Olesen, who went on the charge with six birdies in an outward 31.

"It's been a dream 10 or 11 days," said a delighted Homa, after adding a first overseas title to his six PGA Tour triumphs.

"It was a crazy day - I got off to such a great start and Thorbjorn was playing unbelievable. He kept pushing us along and Nicolai was playing phenomenal golf, so it was fun.

"It's kind of what you dream of, you want to be in the fight and it was fun to close it out at the end.

"It's been tremendous to get to travel to a new place, meet so many amazing people, the fans have been amazing.

"Everyone has been so welcoming and kind. To come out with a trophy is just a cherry on top."

An eagle on the ninth hole allowed Homa to retake the lead after Olesen's charge, and he then had a lucky break on the 14th when a wayward shot hit an official's buggy and landed back in play.

Birdies on the next two holes, including a 38-foot putt on the 16th, stretched his lead to three.

"It was an awkward putt," he said. "My speed on the greens was great for the first three days but I don't know if it was nerves, but today it was just awful. That putt wasn't very good either but fortunately it hit the back of the cup."

Olesen's double-bogey on 17 increased Homa's lead and ended the contest, with Hojgaard slipping into second place.

American Justin Thomas finished fourth, seven shots behind the winner after Englishman Dan Bradbury missed a putt on the final hole and slipped to fifth in the penultimate tournament on this year's European tour, whose championship in Dubai next week concludes the season.

Australian Jason Scrivener ended with a three-under 69 to finish in joint-39th position on two over for the tournament.

With PA