Joburg Open: Richard Sterne shoots closing 64 for a seven-shot win
Last Updated: 10/02/13 2:50pm
Richard Sterne: First European Tour victory for four years
South African Richard Sterne shot an immaculate closing 64 to win the Joburg Open by seven shots at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC.
The 31-year-old from Pretoria had eight birdies in a bogey-free final round as he claimed his sixth European Tour title - but his first since his victory at the 2009 South African Open.
Sterne - who was runner-up in Dubai last week - finished seven clear of his fellow countryman Charl Schwartzel.
The winner dropped just one shot all week - at the 15th on Saturday - and had 26 birdies and an eagle in his 27-under-par total.
SA unless stated
-27 R Sterne
-20 C Schwartzel
-19 R Santos (Por)
-19 G Coetzee
Victory moves Sterne into the top 60 in the world rankings ahead of the WGC-Accenture Match Play championship in Arizona starting on February 20.
It is the second time he has won the Joburg Open, having claimed the trophy in 2008, but he has since spent two years spent out of the game with back trouble and feared for his career.
Former Masters champion Schwartzel birdied 17 and 18 to card a 66 to take second place on his own with a 20-under-par total.
Those late birdies edged him clear of Portugal's Ricardo Santos, who matched Sterne's round on Sunday with a 64, South African George Coetzee (67) and Chilean Filipe Aguilar (67).
Trevor Fisher jnr started the day tied for the lead five shots clear alongside Sterne, but nerves got the better of him as he chased his first win and he slumped to a 73, finishing tied for sixth.
Scotland's David Drysdale was the best-placed British golfer, tied for 11th after dropping a costly shot on 16 having opened up with five birdies on the front nine.
Tommy Fleetwood, from Southport, was tied 13th on 15-under after his closing 69 saw him finish on 272.