Skip to content

Baldwin tames wind for first European circuit triumph

Matthew Baldwin of England tamed the wind to end an 11-year wait for his first European circuit triumph when he won the SDC Championship by seven shots in South Africa on Sunday.

He finished with a four-under 68 for a total of 270 at Saint Francis Links on the southern coast, with a closing 67 from Spaniard Adri Arnaus earning him second place.

Swede Jens Dantorf, Kristian Johannessen of Norway, South African Jaco Ahlers, Antoine Rozner of France and Scot Ewen Ferguson shared third place on 278, one stroke behind Arnaus.

“Winning means the world to me,” said Baldwin, who added that growing up in the English coastal town of Southport helped him combat the windy South African conditions.

“Coming from a seaside town I am used to playing in the wind and it was very strong at times this week,” said the champion, who took a four-shot lead into the final round.

“Forgive me as I am a little tongue-tied at the moment. I cannot right now really process what I have achieved.”

Baldwin had to play the final four holes of his third round early on Sunday after bad light prevented him from doing so the previous evening.

He birdied three of them while then co-leader Johannessen dropped a shot, allowing Baldwin to build a four-stroke advantage.

The Englishman continued his good form in the final round, stretching the lead to six shots after nine holes thanks to three birdies.

After bogeying the par-four 11th — the only hole where he dropped a shot twice this week — Baldwin responded with a par, then two birdies to ensure there would be no dramatic collapse.

He parred the last four holes, with a superb bunker shot at 15 the highlight, and walked off the course clutching his putter and a bottle of champagne.