For Immelman, 'greatest way to start the year'

CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Trevor Immelman made a 6-inch
birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Tim Clark and win the
South African Open on Sunday.

Immelman, who opened the final round three strokes off the lead,
made a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to complete
a round of 5-under 67 and move into tie with Clark at 14-under 274
at Erinvale Golf Club.

Clark missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole of
regulation and settled for 3-under 69.

On the playoff hole, Immelman hit his second shot from 169 yards
to within 6 inches.

"I saw the people in the stands jump up and clap and I just
kept hoping that it would be a tap in," Immelman said.

Clark missed his birdie try, and the 23-year-old South African
tapped in for his first victory, worth $200,000 and a two-year
exemption on the European Tour.

"I don't know how to describe how happy I am with this win. So
many times over the years, I have walked down the 18th fairway and
allowed myself, for a moment, the dream of winning this
tournament," Immelman said.

"This is the greatest way to start the year."

South Africans claimed the top seven positions. Jean Hugo,
Bradford Vaughan, Bobby Lincoln, Tjaart van der Walt and Charl
Schwartzel finishing tied at 11-under, three strokes off the lead.

England's Justin Rose closed with a 1-under 71 and finished in a
tie for eighth place.