Louis Oosthuizen birdies secure championship

BERNIE MCGUIRE
Last updated 07:44 13/01/2014
Louis Oosthuizen
IAN WALTON/ Getty
SHOOTER: Louis Oosthuizen makes eagle, then birdies the final two holes to claim the Volvo Champions title in Durban.

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South African Louis Oosthuizen birdied his closing two holes to retain the Volvo Champions title at the weekend after an earlier eagle on the eighth.

The 2010 British Open winner shot a 4-under 68 for an overall 12-under 276 and claimed his seventh win on the European Tour.

Oosthuizen finished a stroke ahead of fellow South African Branden Grace who also shot a 68 on the Durban Country Club course.  

It was Oosthuizen's first success since winning this elite 36-player event a year ago.

After a slow start, with pars on the opening seven holes, Oosthuizen sank a 3.6m eagle putt at the par five No. 8.

He drew level with Grace with a birdie at the 17th and then claimed the win by holing a 70cm birdie putt at the last.

''When I eagled the eighth hole I felt I could go on and make a few birdies from there on and, while stopped by a bogey on 10, I just felt really comfortable out there,'' Oosthuizen said.

''I noticed when I was about to play my shot at 17 that Branden had finished on 11-under par, so I needed to give myself a good opportunity to tie him and I did and then managed to birdie the last.''

Oosthuizen came into the event with a persistent lower back injury.

''I've still got a few niggles that I need to work on with my back, but it's been great this week and not causing me much concern,'' he said.

Grace recorded his best finish in more than a year after winning four times in 2012, including starting that year with a Volvo Champions success, but then going without a win in 2013.

The 25-year old Grace capped his round with three birdies in succession at the sixth hole and then birdied two of his closing three holes.

''I thought I played some superb golf today,'' Grace said.  

England's Tommy Fleetwood (72) and Dutchman Joost Luiten (71) shared third on 10-under.

Triple Major winning Padraig Harrington (67) was tied fifth on 9 under, his best effort since fourth in Durban a year ago.

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- AP

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