After following his second-place finish at Big Easy Observatory with a share of third at the Swazi Open, Darryn Lloyd is determined to succeed at the Sunshine Big Easy Tour’s Centurion tournament this week.
“Nothing is guaranteed, but all professionals practice because they want to get into the heat of battle. I play well when I’m up there at the front, and this week I want to get up there again,” he said.
The big-hitter has been playing the best golf of his career these last few weeks, and at the Swazi Open this weekend he strung together 24 birdies over four rounds of tournament play.
His putt to win the tournament slid just left of the hole, and he went on to share third with 2012 Big Easy Tour champion Mark Williams.
Lloyd won the pre-qualifier for the Swazi Open and then went on to finish tied third, which indicates his ability to adapt to courses that he is not familiar with.
The 23-year-old will have to rely on that ability to adapt this week, because the Big Easy Tour heads to Centurion Country Club for the first time in its three-year history.
“Last week was a good week, but a long one too. I’ve been playing well for a while, but recently my consistency has been really good. I’m hitting fairways and greens, and these last few tournaments I’ve been holing the putts, so I feel good about Centurion,” he said.
Lloyd’s history on the development tour is good, and in late April he took on Observatory Golf Club during the second tournament on the Big Easy Tour calendar, shooting a final-round 64 to finish regulation play tied for the lead.
Zimbabwean Micky Hough went on to win the playoff after draining a long putt for birdie, and was rewarded with his maiden title and the winner’s cheque for R14,000. Lloyd took home sole second, and will be hunting top honours at Centurion this week.
Joining the fray is top-ranked South African amateur Haydn Porteus, who last week claimed his fifth amateur title of the season at the Boland Open. Porteus received his invitation through a development initiative between the Sunshine Tour and the South African Golf Association. The initiative aims to help streamline the move from amateur to professional golf.
Also in the field this week is Bloemfontein’s Louis Calitz, the 2011 Big Easy Tour Championship winner. Calitz has taken five top-10s on the Sunshine Tour and last year threatened at the Nedbank Affinity Cup, eventually finishing tied ninth. His history on the Big Easy Tour makes him a real threat at Centurion.
For Lloyd the focus will be on keeping up his good form, which has earned him two top-three finishes in as many tournaments. With his big hitting and solid putting, and with his birthday coming up on the 10th of May, he’ll be looking to cap off a great month with a win.