Fleetwood ends three-year winless run by retaining Nebank Golf Challenge title

By Sports Desk November 13, 2022

Tommy Fleetwood edged out Ryan Fox in a dramatic finish to defend his Nedbank Golf Challenge crown and end a three-year winless run on the DP World Tour.

Fleetwood and Fox went into the final round three shots behind Rasmus Hojgaard and Thomas Detry at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, where play was suspended on Sunday due to thunderstorms.

The leaders had only managed five holes before the delays, though Fleetwood raced into the ascendancy after the restart as he carded a five-under 66, including an eagle and four birdies to triumph.

"It has been a great week," Fleetwood said. "I already had so many amazing memories with this place and felt like I had such a great connection to it, so this [win] just added to that."

Victory for Fleetwood was never a certainty until the 18th hole, though, as a wayward tee shot saw Fox bogey the last hole to finish on 10-under, one shot behind the Englishman.

An erroneous drive meant Fox relinquished the chance to not only win the event but also to jump above Rory McIlroy at the top of the season-long DP World Tour rankings.

"I played great and didn't miss a shot until the 18th," Fox said. "I certainly would've like to have played the 18th a little bit better and made Tommy work a little bit harder, but it's an incredibly tough golf course to play down the stretch.

"All of us were there or thereabouts with three holes to play, but Tommy was the one who held it together. Fair play to him. If you had given me second at the start of the week, I definitely would've taken it."

Shubhankar Sharma finished on nine-under to claim third, with Richie Ramsay a further shot behind in fourth as Fleetwood secured his sixth DP World Tour title.

It was also his first triumph since winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2019, with the past two editions cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, as Fleetwood climbed to fourth in the rankings ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.

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