Rags to riches for champion Bachem in South Africa

JOHANESBERG (AFP): Maiden European circuit champion Nick Bachem from Germany pocketed $1.5 million for winning the Jonsson Workwear Open near Johannesburg on Sunday.

It was a dramatic financial turnaround for the 23-year-old after he failed to earn any prize money having tied for 99th place in the Singapore Classic last month.

Trailing fellow German Alexander Knappe by one stroke going into the final round at The Club at Steyn City, Bachem scored four birdies on each nine for an eight-under 64.

It gave him a tournament total of 264 and a four-shot victory over South Africans Hennie du Plessis (68) and Zander Lombard (65).

Scot Ewen Ferguson (68) and South African Ockie Strydom (67) tied for fourth, five strokes behind Bachem.

“I feel pretty great right now and so overwhelmed by this victory,” said the champion, who was playing his 12th tournament in the DP World Tour.

“It is just amazing, awesome. I came here believing I could win, but I guess you think that before every tournament.

“This is my first time playing at Steyn City. It is an amazing course and the weather was also beautiful all week.”