South Africa: It's Not R37 Million That Excites NGC Winner Tommy Fleetwood


England's Tommy Fleetwood had the presence of mind to acknowledge how fortunate modern golfers are to play in an era of largesse after winning the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge on Sunday.

The likeable man from Southport claimed richest first prize in European Tour history by holing a six-foot par putt on the first play-off hole at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City to pip Sweden's Marcus Kinhult to the title.

When the putt dropped Fleetwood punched the air in a gesture of both relief and excitement as he ended a 22-month winless streak on the European Tour.

The $2.5-million (R37-million) first prize is obviously a huge windfall, but for a man who has earned more than $20-million on Tour already, and probably the same again in endorsements, it wasn't life-changing.

The first prize would have been defining for Kinhult, who prior to the NGC had career earnings of $2.08 million (R32-million). The first prize would have more than doubled his lifetime earnings. The "consolation" prize was $850,000 (R12.76-million) for being the runner-up.

As Fleetwood had a microphone jabbed in his face moments after sinking the winning putt, he told the TV interviewer: "The money's not that important." The...

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