Justin Harding in action at the Dubai Desert Classic in Dubai. Photo: EPA/Martin Dokoupil

DOHA – South Africa’s Justin Harding clinched his maiden European Tour title at the 54th attempt with victory in the Qatar Masters on Sunday as a record nine players tied for second place.

The 33-year-old birdied three of his last four holes to card a final round 66 with countrymen Christiaan Bezuidenhout, George Coetzee and Erik van Rooyen, Spaniards Jorge Campillo and Nacho Elvira, Swede Anton Karlsson, Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera, England’s Oliver Wilson and Jin-ho Choi of South Korea all tied for second spot.

Harding is the fifth South African winner of the Qatar Masters after Darren Fichardt, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and two-time champion Branden Grace.

“It feels good,” said Harding who faced a nervous wait in the clubhouse before his victory was confirmed. 

“It was nerve-wracking, especially coming off, it’s a situation I haven’t really been in. I didn’t enjoy it but it’s good fun, I’m glad it happened and now we move on.”