“It’s a great feeling to win. I’ve been playing really well for a while now, so I told myself to be patient and wait for it to happen. Today was my day,” he said.
The 23-year-old handled the tough front stretch of Royal Johannesburg’s east course in style and took 32 strokes to reach the turn, which left his rivals fighting to catch up.
“I managed to birdie six, seven and eight,” he said. “When you get on a hot streak you try to ride it for as long as possible, so I was very happy with how I played that front nine.”
On the second loop he struggled to maintain pace of his first nine, but he remained composed and made the clubhouse on a four-under-par total, which sealed a one-shot victory over Gideon Pienaar.
“Life on tour is a grind and you have to continually work hard,” said Flanagan. “I knew that the hours I put in would be rewarded eventually, and from here I want to move onwards and upwards.”
The Krugersdorp local finished 49th at the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School in January, which earned him exemption on the Big Easy Tour for 2015.
Competitive golf clearly suits him and he has top-10s from all three of his starts on the development tour. At Kempton Park Golf Club in May he tied for eighth place and, a fortnight later, tied for second place at Huddle Park Golf Club after shooting rounds of 66, 67.
This Tuesday he capped off a stellar start to his career with a maiden win. The future looks bright for a Flanagan, who thrives on the competitive atmosphere of professional golf.
“The Big Easy is tournament golf and when you start winning it’s the signal that you are ready to try for the next tier. I’m very satisfied with the win, but I want more and this is a great foundation to start from,” he concluded.