England’s Bradbury breaks through to clinch Joburg Open

Dan Bradbury, a 23-year-old who entered the Joburg Open on a sponsors’ invite, completed a Cinderella story by sealing a wire-to-wire victory at Houghton Golf Club.
Dan Bradbury, a 23-year-old from England, arrived at last week’s Joburg Open ranked 1,397th in the world. He left Houghton Golf Club more than R3-million wealthier, and most importantly, exempt for the next two years on the DP World Tour.
Bradbury had no playing status on any recognised professional tours and just two previous DP World Tour starts to his name. He had turned professional in July and got into the tournament as a sponsor’s invite.
The Englishman had packed enough clothes to last him the week and travelled to the event with his mother.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, and Bradbury was holding the Joburg Open trophy as a winner on the DP World Tour, and collecting a cheque for €167,843.
Life changing
In just his third professional start, Bradbury carded rounds of 63, 66, 67 and 67 to finish three strokes clear of Finland’s Sami Välimäki at 21-under-par.
South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Daniel van Tonder finished a further shot behind in a tie for third place.
With the win, Bradbury gains full status on the DP World Tour, as well as a spot in the 2023 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool — where he will be joined by Välimäki and Bezuidenhout, who secured the other two qualifying spots on offer.
Bradbury also climbed 846 spots in the world rankings to 551st place. With his new status going forward, he plans to play as many events as he can.
“I love playing, I hate sitting at home and not doing anything,” he said.
Bradbury now earns a spot in the field at the 2022 South African Open beginning on Thursday.
“I’ve got the kids over here asking for my hat. I’ve only got one of each colour, so they’re struggling for that one. But we’ll be fine. We’ll get some laundry done tonight and see how we go.”
As it happened
Bradbury didn’t let his inexperience show once the event got underway on 24 November, firing a scintillating eight-under-par 63 to take the first-round lead.
The second round was delayed due to lightning in the area on Friday afternoon, with most players finishing their rounds on Saturday morning.
But Bradbury held steady, following up his first-round heroics with a five-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead over South African starlet Casey Jarvis into the third round.
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