Hennie Otto claimed the 101st South African Open Championship at Serengeti Gold and Wildlife Estate when he edged out Austrian Bernd Wiesberger by one stroke for the coveted national title.
The overnight leader was under pressure coming down the stretch with Wiesburger already in the clubhouse, but after driving the green at 17th, a chip to six feet set up a birdie putt for the outright lead.
The big-hitting Otto followed with another superb tee shot down the 18th fairway, found the green with his approach and two-putted for par to clinch the title.
It was a second European Tour win for the 35-year-old, who won the Italian Open in 2007, and the sixth by a South African on the European Tour in the 2012 season. One of the most consistent performers on the Sunshine Tour since he joined the paid ranks in 1997, Otto has won 12 times in South Africa but the SA Open victory was by far the biggest achievement of his career.
Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate will host the South African Open Championship in 2011 and 2012. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Serengeti is the first 27-hole golf course in Gauteng and was recently named “Best New Golf Course” by Golf Digest.
The 18-hole course called Masai Mara, which means “wide open plains” in the language of the Masai, has a rugged grassland and dune-scape look. One of the unique features on the course is the par-five eighth hole with its island green. The nine-hole course called Whistling Thorn has a more classic feel.
The courses were constructed in accordance with USGA specifications, with cool season grass that provides green vistas all year round. Designed as a strategic and technical masterpiece that will test today’s best players, the sunken design of the course with its wide corridors is ideal for tournament purposes and provides optimal spectator value on almost every hole.