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Justin Harding shines on US Masters debut, bags 2020 invite

Harding, from Somerset West in Cape Town, finished just five shots behind winner Tiger Woods.

Justin Harding of South Africa plays a shot from the 12th tee during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on 14 April 2019 in Augusta, Georgia. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s Justin Harding's debut at the US Masters was impressive after he finished tied 12th at Augusta National this past weekend.

Harding, from Somerset West in Cape Town, finished just five shots behind winner, Tiger Woods.

The 33-year-old's birdie on the final hole earned him an invitation to the next year's Masters. Even better news for him was the fact that he pocketed $225,400 (R3.1 million).

He also becomes South Africa's second highest-ranked golfer, jumping ahead of Branden Grace, by moving up five places to 44th.

Meanwhile, countryman and 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen remains SA's highest ranked player at 21st.

He grappled for consistency in his final round and finished tied for 29th at 4-under.

The 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman finished tied for 51st and while Grace rounded off the South African crew with a 58th place finish.

The other two South Africans who took part in the tournament, Charl Schwartzel and amateur Jovan Rebula, failed to make the cut.