Mark Williams shot a superb 67 at the Els Club, Copperleaf on Friday to claim the Big Easy Tour Championship by two strokes.
ÂI just tried to keep playing solid. The win means a lot Â I played nicely on the Big Easy this year, but I havenÂt been able to finish strong enough Â itÂs the belief that you can come out here and win,Â he said.
The Zimbabwean was in a class of his own around the 7360-metre track, and singed-in without a drop on the card after outstripping overnight leader Teboho Sefatsa.
ÂIt was a big help today to have my old man caddying for me,Â said Williams. ÂHe played on the European SeniorÂs Tour for a couple of years, so it was good to have someone a bit wiser than me on the bag. I have a tendency to think a bit too much, and he kept me clear so that I could just play my shots.Â
The 54-hole season finale put the professionals through their paces, and by the close of Friday only eight players had finished below the par mark. Williams, however, broke par during every round at The Els Club en route to his seven-under-par total.
ÂIt feels great. IÂve been playing nicely for a while and IÂm starting to find a bit of consistent form. ThatÂs a good thing heading into the big events this season. This week I just played really solidly,Â he said.
The 28-year-old burnt through the back nine in 32 strokes, finding his groove after draining a long one at the 14th. ÂWhen I made the birdie on 14 it got my momentum going. I sank a 20-footer there and knew I had some chances coming home. Once you see one go in you feel like you can make anything,Â he said.
At the beginning of the year Teboho Sefatsa was one of four players to pick up an endorsement from Sun International. The sponsorship is centred around golf development within the Big Easy Tour. With the financial stress of his shoulders, Sefatsa had a superb season and made cheques at all but one of his Big Easy tournaments.
By the close of the Tour Championship on Friday he lifted the Order of Merit title, a just reward for playing quality golf throughout the year.
ÂConsistency has become my thing,Â he joked. ÂAnd overall IÂm chuffed with my performance. IÂm going to try and better this with some results on the main tour. It hasnÂt hit me yet, IÂm still out there on the course right now. I guess that when I get home it will sink in, but for now IÂm still surprised,Â said Sefatsa.
Sun InternationalÂs Sport Sponsorship Manager, Leedam Vercellino, said the group was incredibly proud of SefatsaÂs achievements and that his results were signs that investing in golf yields results.
ÂAt Sun International weÂve got a huge got a huge affinity with golf, although itÂs our first year into golf development. We met with Selwyn Nathan (the Sunshine TourÂs Executive Director) and developed a system using money from the Nedbank Golf Challenge gate fees. ItÂs great to see someone like Teboho (Sefatsa) achieve this. HeÂs been so solid all year, and itÂs great to see him win the Order of Merit. ItÂs fantastic to see what these development players are capable of without constant financial stress,Â he said.
Sefatsa echoed the sentiment, adding: ÂIt would have been nice to cap it off with a Tour Championship win, but IÂve got to be thankful that IÂve played so well this season and that I won the Order of Merit. It makes a huge difference having less worries about my earnings, and now I can go out there and really go for it.Â