Scott Jamieson of Scotland won his first European Tour title at the inaugural Nelson Mandela Championship at the Royal Durban Golf Club on Sunday as the world peace icon underwent medical tests.
The 29-year-old beat England’s Steve Webster and Spaniard Eduardo de la Riva on the second hole of a playoff. They were tied for the lead at seven-under 123 after the tournament was reduced to 36-holes with heavy rain washing out the first two days.
“To get your name on any European trophy is a fantastic achievement,” the 29-year-old said, “but it’s a little more special when it’s for someone like Nelson [Mandela],” he added while holding an unusual trophy sporting colorful miniatures of Mandela seated with an open book and surrounded by small children.
The proceeds of the tournament will go to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
Meanwhile, in the capital Pretoria, the 94-year-old Nobel Peace laureate, after whom the tournament was named, spent the night in hospital for medical tests. South African President Jacob Zuma found him “comfortable, and in good care” during a hospital visit.
Jamieson, having finished the first round outside the top 40 with one-over-par 66, fought back on Sunday to card eight-under-par 57 on the way to his maiden European Tour title.
Play was much swifter in the reduced tournament co-sanctioned by the European Tour and South Africa’s Sunshine Tour — the first time in 10 years that two days were cut. Waterlogged conditions also delayed play on the Thursday and Friday in the 2002 Portugal Open.
“I knew I had to get off to a fast start after a really mediocre round yesterday,” the Glaswegian said. “I really had to get up and down to save par at ten and then I chipped in on eleven, which really got me going.”
“I built up some momentum from there, made three birdies in a row on the par threes, which does not happen often,” he added.