Kaymer hunting German double in NGCon December 2, 2012
The 2012 Nedbank Golf Challenge is still wide open going into Sunday’s final round at the Gary Player Country Club.
On a grey and windy day at Sun City, Germany’s Martin Kaymer signed for a 70 and the tournament lead on five under par. But he’s only one stroke clear of South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, who posted a 69. And another South African in Charl Schwartzel is only two back following his 70. Even Lee Westwood still has a shot at his place in history as he goes into the final day on two under after a 70 on Saturday. Overnight leader Paul Lawrie dropped to one under with a 75.
But the sense is that this will be a tournament won with patience rather than a particularly low round on the final day.
“It’s been weird this week. I didn’t think the scoring would be like this,” said Oosthuizen. “At the start of the week I thought double figures would be necessary to win. Now I’m thinking six or seven under could pull it off. I can’t see anybody shooting 66 or 65 on Sunday.”
It says a lot for how difficult the course played that Kaymer highlighted his 10-foot par putt on 12 as the best part of his round. “It was a tough downhill putt and when I made it, that gave me the motivation to keep fighting.” He birdied 13 and 14 thereafter.
But it was the kind of day when even a machine like Bernhard Langer signed off his victory in the Nedbank Champions Challenge with a 74.
“The wind was stronger and that made conditions tricky. I’m proud of the way I managed to finish,” he said of a round where he hit his six iron approach into the water on 17 on his way to bogey, and then produced a great seven iron approach into 18 on his way to a solid par there to win on seven under. Jay Haas finished second on five under.
Langer’s victory makes him the first player to win both the main and senior tournaments in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. “That’s very satisfying. I’ve been here 16 times now and seen this tournament grow over the years. It’s always been top class.” Kaymer made sure he attended the Champions Challenge prizegiving in order to congratulate his countryman.
And he’s hoping he can make it a German double on Sunday.