Qualifier Clark claims first title

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The Independent Online

The qualifier Tim Clark fired a brilliant final round to win his first European Tour title in the South African Open here at the Durban Country Club yesterday.

The 26-year-old South African hit eight birdies in a closing 65 for a two-shot victory over Steve Webster, the Midlander equalling the lowest round of the week with a superb 64 for his fourth second place finish on the tour.

England's Jonathan Lomas and the South African James Kingston shared third place three shots further back. David Park, Alastair Forsyth, Simon Dyson and Retief Goosen, the top money-winner on the European tour last year, finished another shot adrift.

Clark began the final round two shots clear of playing partner Goosen and Lomas. Goosen, the US Open champion, was expected to pose the biggest threat, but it was Webster who made the early move, holing from 15 feet for an eagle on the third.

Clark always looked in control with birdies on the second, third, seventh and eighth. Another on the 10th stretched his lead to three shots, but Webster then picked up his fifth birdie on the 13th seconds before Clark dropped his only shot of the day on the 11th.

The gap was down to one, but that was the closest Webster got as Clark responded with birdies on the next, 14th and 15th to effectively seal victory.

SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN (Durban) Leading final scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 269 T Clark (SA) 66 70 68 65. 271 S Webster 68 70 69 74. 275 J Kingston (SA) 66 67 74 68; J Lomas 68 67 71 69. 276 D Park 71 68 73 64; S Dyson 67 73 69 67; A Forsyth 66 71 70 69; R Goosen (SA) 67 70 69 70. 277 D McGuigan 71 69 71 66; M Maritz (SA) 72 64 72 69; R Wessels (SA) 68 71 68 70. 278 J Hugo (SA) 68 71 68 71. 279 D Van Staden (SA) 71 70 69 69; E Els (SA) 73 69 68 69. 280 D Terblanche (SA) 66 74 74 66; *C Schwartzel (SA) 71 67 73 69; A Cruse (SA) 71 68 71 70; A Butterfield 66 69 74 71; J Donaldson 69 73 66 72. 281 A McLardy (SA) 75 67 72 67; G Muller (SA) 72 66 75 68; A Roestoff (SA) 66 71 73 71; P Golding 70 71 69 71; M Cayeux (Zim) 67 75 68 71.

* denotes amateur

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