Willett ends up fourth in Sun City defence

Danny Willett

Danny Willett

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Danny Willett fought off back pain to finish tied fourth in the Nedbank Golf Challenge title in South Africa.

Australian Marc Leishman took the title, 11 shots ahead of defending champion Willett who finished the tournament with an impressive four-under-par 68, which included birdies at the second, ninth, 16th and 18th.

The Rotherham Golf Club man needed treatment on the course over the weekend for a back complaint that edged him out of contention, but he can be pleased with his final round finish.

Hallamshire’s Matt Fitzpatrick finished tied for 16th.

Leishman ended a trying 2015 on a high after cruising to victory.

The 32 year-old pulled out of the Masters in April after his wife Audrey fell seriously ill with toxic shock syndrome, a rare but life-threatening bacterial infection during which she was put into an induced coma.

She is now recovering but Leishman feared the worst and was prepared to give up golf to care for their two young children.

“I’m pretty happy to have this year over, to be honest,” he said. “Audrey got very sick and I lost an uncle who I was very close to. This tops off what was otherwise not a great year.

“Three weeks ago we moved into a new house, so this will help pay for that.”

Leishman carded a closing 67 at Sun City to finish 19 under par, six shots clear of Henrik Stenson.

England’s Chris Wood was a distant third on nine under.