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Aiken wins Africa Open in playoff

Feb. 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM   |   Comments

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EAST LONDON, South Africa, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Thomas Aiken made a 30-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat Oliver Fisher and win the European Tour's Africa Open.

It was the third European Tour win and 11 professional title overall for Aiken and comes 11 months after his most recent tournament title.

Aiken and Fisher, who had a birdie attempt on the 72nd hole of regulation come up just short, finished regulation play at 20-under-par 264. They returned to the 410-yard, par-4 18th for the playoff.

Fisher had already missed his try for birdie when Aiken dropped in his 30-footer for the win.

Aiken shot a 4-under 67, a round that included a 12-foot putt for eagle at the par-5 third hole which he played at 6-under in the tournament, and back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 to reach 20-under.

Fisher was 2-under for the fourth round with five birdies and three bogeys. He had three birdies in a four-hole span of the front nine and tied Aiken with birdies at 14 and 15.

John Hahn, who had a second-round of 61, turned in a 3-under 68 in the fourth round and pulled into a tie for third with David Horsey, whose 65 Sunday matched the round of the day.

Emiliano Grillo had grabbed the lead after three rounds with a 62 Saturday but opened Sunday's play with a 9 on the par-4 first hole. He was 7-over for the front nine Sunday and only a string of five birdies over the final five holes allowed him to finish and in a tie for fifth at 18-under. He was 2-over 73 for the day.

Also at 18-under were Jaco Van Zyl (65 Sunday), Darren Fichardt (66) and Richard Bland (69).

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