After knocking on the door last week at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, South African Richard Sterne gets hot at the Joburg Open to beat local favorite Charl Schwartzel by seven strokes on Sunday for his sixth win on the European Tour. The 31 year old Sterne, who was born in Pretoria, and makes his home in Stellenbach, South Africa shot a final round -8 under par 64 on the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC for the win.
Sterne started his day with birdies on the first two holes, putting up a hat trick of birdies, making the turn at 32. He cooled a bit on the back nine, making only three birdies, but carding no bogeys on this day. He matched his opening round 64 to go with a -7 under Friday round. He beat the 2011 Masters Champ going away and finished with a -27 under par total. Schwartzel finished at a respectful -20 under par, which was good for sole possession of second place.
Ricardo Santos from Portugal, Felipe Aguilar from Chiie, and local boy, George Coetzee finished one stroke in back of Schwartzel at -19 under par in a tie for third place. American Peter Uihlein had been hanging around the leaderboard all week, shot even par in the final round, and dropped 12 places in a tie for 19th position.
Richard Sterne has been close since the new season began. He managed a 7th place finish at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December, and after leading for the first two rounds at the Omega last week in Dubai, finished alone in second place behind eventual winner Stephen Gallacher. With the win, Sterne moves into first place in Race To Dubai points a mere 15,000 points ahead of Scotland’s Scott Jamieson.
The World Ranking don’t come out until next week, but with his current 94th place ranking, he will need some help with the new rankings to make it into the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship that come up in two weeks. Sterne is definitely on a roll, and probably deserves a trip to Arizona.
The European Tour stays in South Africa next week, as the action moves to East London for the African Open.
Follow Me on Twitter @Spin_47