Tommy Fleetwood came out on top in a play-off with Marcus Kinhult to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge after surging up the leaderboard with a magnificent closing seven-under 65.

Fleetwood started his final round six shots behind adrift of leader Zander Lombard in Sun City and finished it with a first title since January 2018 along with a cheque for USD 2,500,000.

The European Ryder Cup star hit the turn in 31 and a second successive eagle three at the 10th took him to the summit at the Gary Player Country Club.

Fleetwood's momentum was halted by back-to-back bogeys, but a third eagle at 14 following a superb approach shot to within 10 feet of the pin put him back into a share of the lead with Kinhult.

A fourth birdie of the day at 15 gave the Englishman a two-shot advantage, but he gave that stroke straight back at the next hole and pars at 17 and 18 ensured he set the clubhouse target at 12 under.

Kinhult made just the one gain on the back nine after going out in 33 – having birdied the first three holes – and a four-under 68 was enough to force a play-off.

It was not to be for the Swede, though, as a poor tee shot resulted in a bogey and Fleetwood got up and down to save par, claiming his second Rolex Series title and the biggest European Tour cash prize in history.

Fleetwood also moves up to second in the Race to Dubai rankings, with leader Bernd Wiesberger unable to wrap the title up with a week to spare after finishing in a share of third place with Thomas Detry and Jason Scrivener.

The battle to be crowned European number one will be settled at what promises to be a thrilling season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next weekend.

Defending champion Lee Westwood took a share of sixth place with Louis Oosthuizen, while Lombard saw a maiden European Tour title slips through his fingers as he carded a five-over 77 to finish four off the pace home soil.

Zander Lombard will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge despite his worst round of the week on home soil.

Lombard, chasing a first European Tour title, ground it out with a level-par 72 in Sun City to hold a slender advantage over fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen and Belgian Thomas Detry.

World number 234 Lombard started his third round with two-shot lead and extended that by one, but a double-bogey six at the eighth hole following a dropped shot at six put Oosthuizen out in front.

Lombard recovered with four birdies in the space of seven holes and despite another bogey at 16, he is the man to catch on 11 under at Gary Player Country Club.

The 24-year-old said: "I'm still in the lead. I've got to stay positive and I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

"I just couldn't get it going today. I didn't really make any mistakes, I just missed two or three fairways that really put me behind the eight ball and you can't attack this golf course if you're not in the fairway.

"I don't want to sound cocky but it's been a long time coming. I've really made big strides in how I do things on and off the golf course. It's nice to get some feedback and some results from the hard work."

Oosthuizen is hot on the heels of his compatriot after carding a one-under 71, two bogeys costing him the lead on moving day.

Detry moved level with Oosthuizen by shooting a three-under 69, while Oliver Wilson rose into a share of fourth spot with a five-under 67 to join Marcus Kinhult on eight under.

Defending champion Lee Westwood is among six players who are five shots adrift of the leader.

Zander Lombard carded an impressive 65 on Friday to surge into a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Nedbank Challenge.

The South African – playing alongside defending champion Lee Westwood and legendary compatriot Ernie Els - managed six birdies and an eagle in a round that included just the one blemish, a bogey five at the first.

Lombard's low score saw him finish the second day of the tournament in Sun City at the top of the leaderboard on 11 under, though his advantage would have been greater had a birdie putt at the last dropped.

Asked if the day ranked as one of his best ever on a golf course, the world number 234 told Sky Sports: "It's definitely up there. Obviously, the nerves are out there for the first few holes, but I settled in quite quickly.

"With Ernie and Lee being lovely gents, we just had an awesome time out there. I really enjoyed today."

Westwood's hopes of defending his title were hit by a round of 73 that included a double-bogey six at the 13th, leaving him on three under. As for Els, an 81 had him languishing down on five over par through 36 holes.

Louis Oosthuizen began the day in front and finished it as compatriot Lombard's closest challenger at the summit, after following up an opening 63 with a level-par 72 to remain nine under.

The 2010 Open champion had been a doubt to play in the tournament due to kidney stones, yet he remains firmly in contention ahead of the weekend.

"Definitely a bit more fatigued today - especially those last six or seven holes," Oosthuizen told Sky Sports. "I hit the tee shot on 14 and felt it a bit on the right side, I think it was a bit more muscular related.

"The stones have passed, so I just need to get some rest and play well tomorrow."

Thomas Detry sat alone in third on seven under; the Belgian having been at one stage in a tie for top spot but successive bogeys on the back nine saw him slip off the pace.

Tommy Fleetwood signed for a second successive 69 to sit tied on six under with Swede Marcus Kinhult in fourth place, a shot clear of Aaron Rai, Jason Scrivener and Joachim B. Hansen.

Louis Oosthuizen hauled himself from his sick bed to produce a thrilling 63 and set the pace at the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City.

Struggling with kidney stones, Oosthuizen had to miss Wednesday's pro-am, instead spending a chunk of the day in hospital.

But the 37-year-old South African rejected thoughts of abandoning the tournament and hit nine birdies in a blemish-free round on Thursday. 

He revealed the secret to his success was a go-slow approach, ensuring he limited his pain levels and could focus on his swing

"Considering at 3am this morning I didn't think I was going to tee it up, I'm very chuffed with that round," said Oosthuizen, who sits three strokes clear of nearest rival Thomas Detry. 

He said he had been toiling "all of yesterday with kidney stones and this morning was very uncomfortable".

"You could see me walking slower and doing everything a little slower out there," he added.

"All of yesterday was very uncomfortable – I spent a bit of time in the hospital in Rustenburg.

"This morning was just a little niggly, but I went up to the range to hit a few shots and it didn't really bother me hitting - it was more the walking fast that got it, so I just slowed everything a little down and it worked nicely."

Oosthuizen has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four outings at the Gary Player Country Club, which stages this event.

The 2010 Open champion is also looking to add to his victory last December at the South African Open and he opened up a healthy lead on day one.

Italy's Guido Migliozzi held down third place after a five-under 67, one ahead of South Africans Ernie Els and Zander Lombard and England's Lee Westwood.

Four-time major winner Els, at 50, rolled back the years with four birdies and no bogeys.

"I didn't quite expect that. I haven't played too much golf recently," Els told the European Tour website. "I really came here with a plan to try and get a swing going, which I kind of did.

"I just went on memory, going around the golf course where I used to hit the ball. Today was a good day."

Tommy Fleetwood, whose ball was meddled with by mongooses on the 17th green, was one of 10 players to sign for a 69, leaving him three under.

Tommy Fleetwood encountered a new hazard on a golf course at the Nedbank Challenge as marauding mongooses stole the spotlight at Sun City.

The Englishman was approaching the end of his opening round when his second shot to the 17th, over water, was pounced upon by a gang of the curious small mammals.

They had been happily playing and munching the putting surface when Fleetwood's ball landed from a great height.

As it bounced on and settled around 25 feet from the hole, the mongooses' interest was piqued and a scurrying pair immediately pounced, nudging the ball along a few inches.

"They must think it's an egg," said a European Tour commentator.

Fleetwood laughed it off, with the 28-year-old writing on Twitter: "Anyone know the rule for a mongoose attack on your golf ball? Got to love Sun City."

Ryder Cup star Fleetwood was able to play on without further disruption, ending up with a par as he completed a three-under-par round of 69 to sit in a share of seventh place.

Local wildlife at the course in South Africa has grabbed the attention away from the golfers before.

Ian Poulter was pictured feeding monkeys before the 2017 Nedbank Challenge, and at the same year's event Scottish golfer-turned-commentator Andrew Coltart posted footage of a mongoose and snake in a dramatic face-off close to the course.

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