|2023||St Francis Links||Matthew Baldwin|
2023: Matthew Baldwin
The DP World Tour's first-ever visit to the St Francis Links course in South Africa promised to be a competitive affair but ultimately turned into something of a procession, as Englishman Matthew Baldwin sauntered clear for a seven-shot success.
Making the 200th start of his career, Bradbury headed to the Eastern Cape with just two notable wins to his name – coming on the Challenger Tour in 2011 and the MENA Tour in 2019. What followed was 72 holes of excellence, and proof that perseverance and belief can pay off for a man who lost his Tour card in 2016.
Growing up playing the windy links courses on the North West coast, Southport native Bradbury was thoroughly at home in the increasingly blustery conditions. Forced to finish his third round on Sunday morning, the 37-year-old birdied three of his final four holes to take a four-shot lead into the final round. Another trio of birdies in his opening eight holes of the final round all but sealed the deal, with a sole bogey at 11 not coming close to derailing his momentum as he finished on 18 under par.
An impressive performance from Baldwin who was the only man in the field to go under par in all four rounds. He pockets €239,186.18 for his week's work and moved up to 29th in the Race to Dubai standings. Adri Arnaus finished on his own in second, with Jaco Ahlers, Jens Dantorp, Ewen Ferguson, Kristian Krogh Johannessen and Antoline Rozner finishing a shot further back in a five-way tie for third.
Elsewhere at the event, the glut of hole-in-ones on the DP World Tour continued, with Dan Bradbury and Wynand Dingle’s perfect nine irons at the par-three 17th making it 13 aces in the first 14 events of the season.