Former Jag Scott Jamieson gets maiden Euro Tour win in Mandela
Former Augusta State golfer Scott Jamieson can now claim something nobody else in history can -- shooting a final-round 57 to earn his first professional victory. He missed an eagle putt for 56 that could have avoided a playoff.
Jamieson held off England's Steve Webster and Spaniard Eduardo de la Riva in a playoff to land his first European Tour title at The Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa.
The 29-year-old Scot -- whose last victory was in the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate as a Jaguar senior in 2005 -- started the day six shots off the pace but, with the event shortened to a 36-hole sprint after heavy rain washed out the first two days he shot a blistering 57 on the shortened Royal Durban layout proved good enough for a share of top spot once all 156 players had finished.
It might not be official, but Jamieson and Jaco van Zyl will always be remembered as the men who shot a 57 – the lowest ever score recorded on the European Tour. It was on a layout dramatically changed due to heavy rainfall over the past three months, though, as the course was reduced from its initial par 70 of 6,773 yards to 65 and 5,133 yards and the contest shortened to 36 holes following a washout on Thursday and Friday.
Jamieson’s win even earned a Twitter congratulations from South African Hall of Famer Gary Player: “Congratulations to @scottjamieson54 for your maiden victory in Mandela Challenge. What a pity about the weather & delays but a win is a win.”
Webster and De La Riva had already set the clubhouse benchmark at seven under par with rounds of 60 and 61 before Jamieson finished, and all three then had to wait several hours to see if any of the afternoon starters would surpass them.
First round joint-leader Tim Clark looked most likely when he followed eight straight pars with an approach to two feet at the ninth and then holed a putt from the fringe at the tenth to make it a four-way tie at the top.
But needing to birdie one of the last two for an outright win the South African bunkered his approach to the 17th, went over the green and three-putted from there for a double bogey six.
The first trip back down the 18th saw three whittled down to two as De La Riva bogeyed, and when Webster found trouble down the left on the second extra hole back-to-back pars handed Jamieson the title.
“To get your name on any European trophy is a fantastic achievement,” said Jamieson, “but it’s a little more special when it’s for someone like Nelson [Mandela].
“At the start of the day I probably didn’t think I would be standing here holding the trophy; but I knew I needed a fast start and I was lucky enough to get that.”
De la Riva, who less than a fortnight ago came through The European Tour Qualifying School for the first time in ten years, was left to rue not only failing to get up and down from a bunker in the play-off, but also a closing bogey in his second round 61.
Webster, who had the second of his two victories in Portugal more than five years ago, almost clinched victory on the first extra hole when his 30 foot birdie putt came up just short.
Next time round, though, he could not recover from pulling his drive into thick rough.
Earlier, Jamieson could have won it outright on the 305 yard ninth - his last - when he drove the green, but just missed a 12 foot eagle attempt.
He had earlier gone to the turn in a five under 26 that included four birdie twos on the modified par-65 Royal Durban Course, which will prevent his scores entering the record books.
Joint fourth a stroke behind were Clark, German Max Kieffer, Dane Morten Orum Madsen and England's Matthew Nixon.