Aiken wins third European title
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2014 Africa Open | Wrap | 17 Feb 2014
Thomas Aiken birdied the first extra hole of a playoff against England’s Oliver Wilson at the Africa Open in East London to secure his third European Tour title but his first on home soil in his 180th European Tour start.
Aiken had begun the week as one of the favourites give some very good recent form including consecutive 5th placed finishes in the Middle East against considerably stronger fields than he faced this week.
Aiken came from four shots off the 54 hole lead of Argentine, Emiliano Grillo, an early eagle and birdie having him as the man to beat especially after Grillo took a quintuple bogey 9 at the par four first.
Wilson took the lead on his own when he birdied the 14th and 15th but Aiken again drew level when he birdied the 16th and both finished tied at 20 under before Aiken holed a putt of close to 30 feet for birdie at the first extra hole.
American rookie John Hahn and England’s David Horsey tied for 3rd with Horsey recording four birdies in his last six holes to tie with Hahn.
Perhaps the most courageous effort of the day was the amazing bounce-back of Grillo who birdied his last five holes to tie for 5th after his horror start and an outward nine of 43.
South Australia’s Wade Ormsby completed his best European Tour event since regaining his playing rights at last year’s Tour School when he finished in a share of 16th.
Brady Watt was the only other Australian in the field but he again missed the cut in his fourth start as a professional.