Johannesburg – Defending champion Hennie Otto fired eight birdies and an eagle in a bogey-free round to shoot a course record 10-under-par 62 in the final round of the South African Open at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate on Sunday.
“I hit the ball very well this whole week,” Otto said after his round.
In round three, Otto – known for his bad temper – had thrown his putter into a water hazard and ended up using a wedge to putt coming home.
“The first three rounds the putting let me down, but then I got rid of the putter yesterday,” he said.
“I tossed it in the water, just to make sure I didn't use it again. I went back to my old putter and that was the difference.
“I started making the putts today and that's where the turning point came.”
Otto was not overly excited about his round, but he was pleased to have improved in negotiating the greens.
“I didn't think about the course record. The putter was working, and that's what I wanted to get working.
“I made the fist pump on 18 because my putting was back to standard.
“I hit the ball so well the whole week, but if you average 33 or 34 putts you're not going to make a score.”
Otto began round four almost five hours before the leaders were due to tee off, and ended the event at eight under par.
He threw in three birdies in his first five holes, before an eagle at the par-five eighth saw him out in five under.
He then birdied the 10th and 11th, and ended his round in fine style with three birdies in a row to claim the course record.
George Coetzee had equalled the previous course record on Saturday with a nine-under-par 63, but Otto had the final say on a course which suits his game. – Sapa