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Eagle rush helps Fleetwood to play-off win at Nedbank Challenge

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By Reuters
Eagle rush helps Fleetwood to play-off win at Nedbank Challenge
FILE PHOTO: Golf - European Tour - BMW PGA Championship - Wentworth Golf Club, Virginia Water, Britain - September 21, 2019 England's Tommy Fleetwood in action during the third round Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs   -   Copyright  PAUL CHILDS(Reuters)

SUNCITY, South Africa (Reuters) – – Englishman Tommy Fleetwood carded three eagles in a scintillating final round 65 to claim a play-off victory over Swede Marcus Kinhult at the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Sunday.

Fleetwood started the day six shots behind overnight leader Zander Lombard but surged up the leaderboard and into a play-off, which he won on the first extra-hole as Kinhult was off target with his drive and could only card a bogey five.

Fleetwood rolled in a five-foot put in front of a packed gallery at the Gary Player Country Club to lift the trophy, having finished tied with Kinhult on 12 under-par for the tournament.

The world number 18, and highest ranked player in the field, claimed the $2.5-million first prize and his first tournament win since the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January 2018.

“I made a great up and down on one and without that the day could have been completely different. I was also really proud of how I played 17 and 18,” Fleetwood said.

“I was getting more and more nervous (as the round went on). Being a golfer these days you have the chance at a young age to set your family up for life … it’s just really cool when you win a tournament.”

All of Fleetwood’s eagles came on par-five holes, but as was the case all week he battled on the shorter holes and bogeys on 11th, 12th and 16th halted his victory charge, though he still carded comfortably the low round of the day.

Kinhult birdied his first three holes on Sunday and was much more measured in his play, with five birdies and a bogey on the par-three seventh as he secured a 68.

The top three on the overnight leaderboard all wilted in their challenge on Sunday, as Belgian Thomas Detry (74) tied for third, Louis Oosthuizen (75) finished tied sixth, and Zander Lombard (77) tied for eighth.

Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger was in a tie for third after carding 70 on Sunday for a total of eight under-par.

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Pritha Sarkar)