Johnnesburg — Englishman Dan Bradbury hugged his mother after a fairytale wire-to-wire victory on Sunday in the Joburg Open, the opening event of the 2022/23 DP World Tour.
He carded a final round 67 for a 21-under total of 263 at Houghton Golf Club for a three-shot victory over Finn Sami Valimaki, who closed with a 69.
South Africans Christiaan Bezuidenhout (66) and Daniel van Tonder (68) shared third place on 267, one stroke behind Valimaki.
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Bradbury, a 23-year-old from the west Yorkshire cathedral city of Wakefield, only turned professional in July this year and was not on the original entry list for the Joburg Open.
But he dashed to the South African economic capital last weekend with his mother after receiving an invitation from the sponsors.
The Joburg Open was just his third Tour event and victory not only made him a lot richer but also secured DP World Tour membership and a place in the 2023 British Open.
“My victory was all the more special because my mother was here to witness it,” he said after his only blemish of the final round, a bogey five at the final hole.
“It is going to take a few days for this victory to sink in. What I have achieved is unbelievable. I played my own game and it worked.”
Bradbury achieved victory with rounds of 63, 66, 67 and 67 that included three eagles, 24 birdies, seven bogeys and one double bogey.
One shot ahead of one-time European Tour winner Valimaki going into the final round, he stayed ahead with five birdies before his final hole blip.
He admitted to being a little nervous when the Finn holed a monster putt at 15 to move within two strokes, but responded with a birdie two at the next hole to regain a three-shot advantage.