JOHANNESBURG (NWN) – South African golfer Thriston Lawrence won the Joburg Open on Saturday after the third round was abandoned due to bad weather, meaning the result was declared after holes 36 of the opening ceremony on the DP World Tour. .
The event was reduced to a 54-hole tournament late on Friday to help non-South African resident players, caddies and support staff return to their home countries, following international travel restrictions being imposed on South Africa. There was a step that started because of this. The emergence of a new COVID-19 variant in the country.
Lawrence had a four-shot lead at the end of the second round, scoring 65–65, less than 12 overall. He claimed his first victory in what was previously named the European Tour, earning full membership of the No. 503-ranked player.
“It’s so real,” Lawrence said. “I don’t think anyone thought it would turn out like this, ending Saturday afternoon, but I’m really grateful. It’s a life-changing moment for me. It’s an incredible feeling.”
Play was suspended at 1012 GMT on Saturday due to heavy rain and the threat of lightning – Lawrence has just started his third round. Organizers said large parts of the course were not playable, leaving officials with no option but to skip the day’s play.
Lawrence had more reason to celebrate as a first-place finish earned him a place at next year’s British Open in St Andrews alongside second- and third-placed players – fellow South African Xander Lombard (8 overall) and England’s Ashley Chester (7 under). Chesters were tied at 7-under with Sean Norris, who had already secured a waiver at the British Open.
“It’s a lifelong dream,” Lawrence said of entering the British Open, “and now it’s come true. I’ve never played a Major, and playing my first Major at St. Andrews was an incredible achievement for me. And I can’t wait, I’m so excited.
“It’s a little hazy for me at the moment,” he continued. “I would have loved to take it down from No. 18 today and celebrate a winning putt, but it’s a lifelong dream to not only play in a Major, but to win a DP World Tour event.”
Other sporting events in southern Africa have been influenced by the emergence of the new version.
The qualifying event for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup to be held in Zimbabwe was abandoned, while the last two matches of South Africa’s three-match ODI series against the Netherlands were cancelled.
Cricket South Africa said the decision was taken “as a result of increasing concern and concern” from tourists about the travel situation.
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