Attie Schwartzel collected his maiden win at the Sunshine Big Easy Tour’s Houghton tournament, where he carded a final-round 69 to finish four strokes clear of the competition.
“It means a lot to finally win. My ball striking was very good and I hit a lot of greens in regulation, and I think that was the secret this week. I just kept giving myself chances,” he said.
The 25-year-old has been a runner-up three times on the Big Easy Tour and had to reach a seven-under-par total to rid himself of the ‘always the bridesmaid’ curse.
“It really feels like I’ve got the monkey off my back. I’ve been playing a lot more consistently, and that’s why my scores are getting better. If I keep playing like this I can pull off a win on the main tour,” he said.
The day was not without its problems for the Vereeniging local, who had to recover from a pair of bogeys at the first and second.
“I got off to a bad start – two over through two, but I knew there were four par fives to come and I managed to take advantage of them,” he said.
He went on to card five birdies during the round, but it was on the stretch that he really stood up as a champion.
“I think it turned when I made a 35-footer on 12. It was a beauty of a put that swung left to right and then just turned back a bit at the end,” he said. “And I hit a great shot at 16, which is a tricky par three. It stopped about three feet from the pin and I made birdie there, but it was only once I made the green on the 18th that it felt like I had won.”
Glen de Waal carded 67, which was the low round of the day, to reach the clubhouse on a three-under-par total. That was good enough to secure the Namibian a share of second alongside Mark Fensham and countryman Ruan Haysamen.
Big Easy Observatory winner Micky Hough carded 71 on both days to take up sole fifth on two-under-par, while Divan Gerber, Thabo Maseko, Callie Swart and Henk Alberts shared sixth on one-under.