Sterne Rolls to Seven-Stroke Win in South Africa


After going head-to-head for much of last week's Dubai Desert Classic with Stephen Gallacher and eventually finishing second to the Scot, Richard Sterne took matters into his own hands Sunday, closing with an 8-under 64 and winning the Joburg Open by seven shots.

Sterne, who began the day tied for the 54-hole lead with fellow South African Trevor Fisher Jr., carded five birdies on the front nine and three more on the back at Kensington Golf Club to finish at 27-under 260, seven in front of Charl Schwartzel (66) and eight ahead of Ricardo Santos (64), Felipe Aguilar (67) and George Coetzee (67).

Fisher posted a 73to fall into a tie with Thomas Aiken (66) at 18-under 269 in the tournament, which was played on Kensington's East and West courses in Johannesburg.

"It's quite tough coming from a good week into another week; you kind of do expect to play well," Sterne told reporters. "But I got off to such a good start on the West Course (which he played in round one before switching to the East Course for the remainder of the week) and felt comfortable.

"It was a pretty special day," added Sterne, who in addition to his closing 64 shot rounds of 63, 65 and 68 and had only one bogey in 72 holes. "I played really good golf today and the whole week really."

The win was Sterne's sixth on the European Tour, but his first since the 2008 South African Open. The Pretoria native missed most of 2010 and '11 due to injuries. "I didn't think I was going to be out for so long, but six months became a year and then almost two," he said.

"The only thing that kept me going was all the other South Africans. They kept winning a lot of events and I believed that if they could do it then I could."

For complete scoring details, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2013/tournamentid=2013011/leaderboard/index.html?showLeaderboard=Y.


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