Max Homa holds off Danish challengers to score 'dream' win at Sun City

'You want to be in the fight and it was fun to close it out at the end', says American who finished four clear of Nicolai Højgaard

By Team KT

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Max Homa (US) takes the Nedbank Golf Challenge winner's trophy on his first visit to Sun City, South Africa, - Supplied photo
Max Homa (US) takes the Nedbank Golf Challenge winner's trophy on his first visit to Sun City, South Africa, - Supplied photo

Published: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 1:22 AM

Last updated: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 7:37 PM

Max Homa produced an imperious display to win the $6 million Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City in the penultimate event on the DP World Tour.

A closing 66 saw Homa finish on 19 under, four clear of Nicolai Højgaard.

The American began the final round with a one-shot lead at Gary Player Country Club and was briefly caught by Thorbjørn Olesen despite making birdies on four of his first six holes.

However, no sooner had he been joined at the top of the leaderboard than World Number Eight Homa fired a sensational approach over the water to 18 feet at the ninth and converted the eagle opportunity.

The eagle added to gains at the second, third, fifth and sixth – as well as a bogey at the fourth – saw Homa match Olesen's front-nine 31 to lead by two on 18 under.

Olesen cranked up the pressure once more with a tap-in birdie on the tenth but, although Homa gave the chasing pack hope with a dropped shot on the 11th, the Dane carded consecutive bogeys at the 12th and 13th before a double-bogey at the 16th ended his challenge.

Homa birdied the 15th from seven feet and rattled in a 38-foot effort at the next to put the result beyond doubt.

“It's been a dream 10 or 11 days,” Homa said. “It was a crazy day – I got off to such a great start and Thorbjørn was playing unbelievable. He kept pushing us along and Nicolai was playing phenomenal golf so it was fun.

“It’s kind of what you dream of, you want to be in the fight and it was fun to close it out at the end.”

On his huge birdie putt at the 16th, which looked to be racing well past the cup had the hole not intervened, Homa added: “It was an awkward putt. My speed was great for the first three days - I don't know if it was nerves or if my speed was just awful all day today. That one wasn't very good either but it hit the back of the cup thankfully.

“It's been tremendous to get to travel to a new place, meet so many amazing people, the fans have been amazing. Everyone has been so welcoming and kind. To come out with a trophy is just a cherry on top.”

Højgaard made four birdies in a flawless 68 to claim second, with Olesen making eight birdies in his 69 to take third on 14 under.

A closing 66 gave Justin Thomas fourth place on 12 under, one ahead of England's Dan Bradbury, who signed for a fourth-round 71.

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Dubai based Adrian Meronk (Pol) shot a final round 72 to go along with his first three rounds of 67, 75 and 68 to finish tied 15th. In the ‘Race to Third’ in the Race to Dubai Rankings, Meronk leads from Fox – who shot a disappointing final round of 77 to finish tied 51st.

The next event on the DP World Tour is the season ending $10 million DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Results

7,819 yards, par 72)

M. Homa (US) 66. 68. 69. 66. 269,

N. Hojgaard (Den) 66. 70. 69. 68. 273.

T. Oleson (Den) 70. 66. 69. 69. 274.

J. Thomas (US) 72. 66. 72, 66. 276.

D. Bradbury (Eng) 66. 69. 71. 71. 277.


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