Jeff Inglis played what he called his best golf of the year on his way to a comfortable four-stroke victory in the Wingate Park Golf Club leg of the Sunshine Big Easy Tour presented by Stonehage.
He carded a final-round six-under-par 66 in the second round of the 36-hole R100,000 event for an eight-under total of 136, relegating Francois Coetzee to second on 140. Brandon Detweiler and Callie Swart shared third on 141, while Attie Schwartzel, Coenie Bester and overnight leader Beyers Smith shared fifth on 142.
“It’s the best ball-striking and best putting of the year for sure,” said Inglis, whose victory brought him his third title on the Big Easy Tour after his wins in Maccauvlei and Kempton Park last year. He also finished second in the inaugural Big Easy Tour Championship in 2011.
“This was one of my lowest scores of the year,” he said. “It feels as if I am going to be able to take some momentum into the rest of the year. I made the cut last week in Polokwane on the Sunshine Tour, and I’m playing solid golf.”
After his opening two-under-par 70 card had five bogeys interspersed with his seven birdies, he noted the need to cut down on errors, and, with not a dropped shot in sight in his final round, it was pretty much mission accomplished.
“I just kept the bogeys off the card today,” he said. “I made some unbelievable par-saves and then a great birdie putt on the last to cap it all off.”
That putt stretched his margin to four, but he could so easily have let things slip after his tee shot drifted into the left rough in some trees, making the approach to the 501-metre 18th a difficult proposition.
“At that stage, I didn’t know what the guys behind me were doing, and it was at best a 50-50 chance to go for the green in two,” he said. “So I laid it up into a divot, hit a great shot out of that and made the putt – and that was it.”
Making those kinds of decisions on his way to victory is what Inglis is doing well now, and he accepts that part of it comes from not knowing what his opponents might be doing. “Sometimes I prefer not to know, because you stay focused a little longer than you would if you did know,” he said.
The victory vaults him to third on the Big Easy Tour Order of Merit after the sixth event of the season.