Durban, South Africa – Louis Oosthuizen fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday and stormed back to win the Volvo Golf Champions by a single shot.
Oosthuizen entered Sunday five strokes off Scott Jamieson's pace, but the 2010 Open champion carded seven birdies against a single bogey and tied for the low round of the day en route to his sixth European Tour victory. He closed at 16- under 272.
Jamieson stumbled to even-par in his final round, which included a costly double-bogey, and finished alone in second place at 15-under. First-round leader Thongchai Jaidee carded a 68 at Durban Country Club and placed third at minus-14.
Oosthuizen parred the last to establish a two-shot lead over Jamieson, who still had one hole to play. Needing an eagle, Jamieson sailed his first shot on the short par-4 18th long and left of the green. He then sent a deft chip straight at the cup, but the ball came to rest an inch short of the hole, allowing Oosthuizen to breathe a sigh of relief.
"Louis is a Major champion - there's no shame in losing to him," said Jamieson. "I gave it my all, but it wasn't to be."
Despite the Sunday setback, Jamieson has enjoyed a sparkling start to the 2013 campaign. He picked up his first European Tour victory here in Durban at the Nelson Mandela Championship in early December and followed a week later with a tie for third place at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. With Sunday's result, the Scot has now finished in the top 3 at all three events this season.
Padraig Harrington shot 68 and took fourth place at 12-under, while Julien Quesne (71) and Danny Willett (68) tied for fifth at 11-under. Defending champion Branden Grace (67) and former Open champion Paul Lawrie (69) tied for seventh at minus-10 and Nicolas Colsaerts (68) highlighted a large group knotted in ninth at 9-under.
It was an up-and-down weekend for Oosthuizen, who matched Jamieson for the low round on Friday with a 64 before slipping to a 74 on Saturday to fall five shots back.
On Sunday, Jamieson maintained that advantage through his opening four holes. Then, on No. 5, the Scot drove into the bushes and was forced to return to the tee. He eventually settled for double-bogey, allowing Oosthuizen to move within three strokes.
"The double bogey was a kick in the stones, to put it politely, but I had tons of chances and couldn't take them," Jamieson admitted.
As Jamieson embarked on a lengthy par stretch, Oosthuizen continued to heat up.
The South African recorded birdies on Nos. 6 and 8 to close his outward nine just one stroke off the pace. He pulled even with Jamieson with a tap-in birdie on the par-5 10th, and moved in front on the next hole when he drained another birdie putt from just outside 10 feet.
Oosthuizen went up by two shots with another birdie on No. 14, then gave a stroke back when he missed a 3-foot par putt and settled for bogey on the 16th.
Jamieson couldn't capitalize, however, as he sent his approach into a bunker and also bogeyed No. 16 to stay two strokes back. Oosthuizen then parred the last two holes and hung on courtesy of Jamieson's narrow eagle miss on the last.
"Yesterday my swing felt long and loose; I couldn't fix it on the golf course for some reason," said Oosthuizen. "Today I went out with a lot more concentration ... and I hit the ball beautiful."
NOTES: Sunday's result marked the first time Oosthuizen won on the European Tour when he trailed entering the final round ... After recording a birdie at No. 4, Jamieson went 13 straight holes without picking up another birdie ... Grace recorded rounds of 67, 69, 67 after opening with a 3-over 75 ... The field included the first two winners of the 2013 campaign, every winner from the 2012 European Tour International Schedule, past champions of the event, and golfers with 10 or more European Tour victories.