Sunday, 17 January 2010

Thornton 's Effort Rewarded in South Africa

Only weeks after the death of his Father, Simon Thornton completed his first two weeks as a member of the European Tour in South Africa having decided to fulfil his January schedule as planned. Naturally enough the decision was not an easy one to make.

On Sunday though a final round 69 in the Joburg Open secured a tie for 17th place giving an early indication of Thornton’s competitiveness and mental strength.

The County Down resident was playing in only his second event on the Sunshine Tour and had failed to make the cut last week at the Africa Open in East London.

In Johannesburg though it was different as an opening 70 was followed by a 65 in round two and a scramble for level on par day 3, when four hard earned birdies kept Thornton from slipping down the field after four bogeys threatened to damage his card.

On the last day a level par front nine kept the former Assistant at Royal County Down within the top twenty. Then two birdies on the 10th and 18th holes secured a 69 for 9 under par total and an aggregate 275.

The winner of the Joburg Open was local player Charl Schwartzel with 261, securing his second win in as many weeks. He finished six shots ahead of runner up Darren Clarke.

Michael Hoey ended in tied 25th with an aggregate of 277.

Next on the agenda for Simon Thornton is a return home for the more pressing matter of his Father’s funeral, which was originally being arranged for next week. As a result he is likely to forego events in Abu Dhabi and Doha.

Simon Thornton played the last two weeks though with the knowledge that it was his Father’s dying wish that he fulfil the commitments in South Africa.

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