Maverick Antcliff’s ascension to the elite of world golf shows no signs of slowing after the Queenslander finished inside the top 15 at the South African Open in Johannesburg.
Playing in his first European Tour event outside of Australia, Antcliff’s 4-under 67 in the final round was bettered by only one man at Randpark Golf Club on Sunday, eventual champion Branden Grace who stormed to victory with a stunning 9-under 62.
Winner of the China Golf Tour Order of Merit in 2019 which earned him the start in South Africa, Antcliff bogeyed the third hole of his final round but recovered quickly with a birdie at the next, adding four more to climb 19 spots on the leaderboard.
The 26-year-old Queenslander hit 14 of 18 greens during the fourth round that saw him rise to 36th in the Race to Dubai rankings but currently outside the cut-off to play in this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Min Woo Lee was also poised to make an impression on the order of merit but after starting the final day inside the top 10 stumbled late in his round to finish tied for 15th at 10-under par.
A birdie at the par-4 second and eight pars saw Lee turn in a tie for seventh at 12-under par but a frustrating day with the flatstick culminated in 34 putts and bogeys at 14 and 16 in what was otherwise an encouraging start to his 2020 campaign.
After a promising opening round of 4-under 67 fellow young gun Jarryd Felton battled a misbehaving putter on the final day as he logged a 5-over 76 with Brett Rumford (78) and David MIcheluzzi (77) also losing ground on Sunday.
South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg
Randpark GC, Johannesburg, South Africa
T13 Maverick Antcliff 67-67-72-67—273 €17,916
T15 Min Woo Lee 66-69-67-72—274 €14,614
T62 Jarryd Felton 67-71-68-76—282 €3,262
T66 Brett Rumford 69-67-70-78—284 €2,764
T69 David Micheluzzi 65-72-71-77—285 €2,488