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Home-town boy Otto survives nervy finish

By Ken Borland

KEMPTON PARK, South Africa (Reuters) - Home-town favorite Hennie Otto survived a nerve-wracking finale to win the South African Open by one stroke at the Serengeti Golf Estate Sunday.

Otto frittered away a three-shot overnight lead with three bogeys between the 13th and 16th holes as Austria's Bernd Wiesberger mounted a charge.

Wiesberger, who began the day five strokes behind, went out in 33 to move within three of the South African but could only claim two birdies on the back nine as he finished second.

Otto sank a 10-foot birdie putt for a three on the penultimate hole, after driving over the green, and two-putted the last to close with a level-par 72 and a 14-under total of 274.

"Any win is good but especially this one. It's our national open and you see the names on that cup and your name there too, I'm proud," Otto told reporters after picking up his second European Tour title.

"I hit just one bad shot, when I pushed my drive into the bunker on 13, but I was pumped up. Maybe I tried to force a few shots and some of them went further than I thought they would."

Victory for the 35-year-old Otto, who also won the 2008 Italian Open, means he has qualified for the lucrative season-ending Dubai World Championship in two weeks' time.

Thomas Aiken returned a 72 to share third place with fellow South African Ockie Strydom (69) and Briton Richard McEvoy (68) on 277.

Five-times champion Ernie Els crashed to a seven-over 79 for 293, tied for 69th spot.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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