Lawrence Hangs On To Win South African Open

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Thriston Lawrence held on to win his home South African Open by one shot despite a final-round 2-over 74 at the Blair Atholl course on Sunday.

Lawrence started the day with a two-shot lead over Clement Sordet of France and despite extending his advantage to five strokes early on the back nine, the South African only just managed to hold off his playing partner to finish with an overall 16-under 272.

The victory is his third on the European tour, following wins at the Joburg Open a year ago and the European Masters in August.

“This is what you strive for, being a kid you dream for this moment, to win such a prestigious event in front of an amazing crowd,” said Lawrence. “It felt all easy going through the round and then golf happened at the end.

“I managed to get it done and I’m really pleased,” he added.

Jens Fahrbring of Sweden (70) finished third, two shots off the pace, and Germany’s Matti Schmid (69) was fourth, another three strokes back.

Lawrence bogeyed the 14th as Sordet made birdie and worse was to come on the next as Lawrence pulled his approach over the green and into the water to run up a double bogey.

Another dropped shot on No. 16 meant Lawrence and Sordet were tied for the lead, only for Sordet to bogey the 17th after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.

Sordet found more sand off the tee on the par-five 18th and was unable to find the required birdie to force a playoff.

The tournament was the second of three events in South Africa this month as part of the European tour’s 2023 season.