Micky Hough sank a 12-footer for birdie on the 18th at Observatory Golf Club on Wednesday to clinch a playoff victory at the Sunshine Big Easy TourÂs Observatory tournament presented by Stonehage.
ÂItÂs a great feeling. It hasnÂt really sunk in yet, but it was good to finish with a birdie to win. ItÂs nice to feel like youÂve won and not been gifted it. This was that little bit of belief that you need some times to keep you going,Â he said.
The Zimbabwean birdied his final four holes to finish regulation play on 12-under-par and share the lead with Darryn Lloyd. The two entered a sudden-death playoff and had to repeat the 18th until a victor emerged.
Both players made par on the first extra trip down 18.
During the second trip Hough hit his approach from 80 metres out to 12 feet from the pin. Lloyd misjudged his approach and then chipped up to two feet for his third, which left him with a two-footer for par. It never came to that as ÂHuffyÂ sank his birdie putt and clinched his maiden title.
Hough used to caddie for European Tour star Miguel Jimenez, and recalls a time at the 2010 French Open when Jimenez won in a playoff. He drew on that experience during his playoff on Wednesday.
ÂAt the French Open I was caddying for Miguel and I realised the pressure of the situation and knew that I had to deal with it. He hung in there and made a great putt to beat Francesco Molinari and Alejandro Canizares in the playoff, and I was thinking a bit about that today. The memory helped me to just get it done,Â he said.
The final round was certainly exciting, with Hough having to overcome a double at the 10th before starting to chase down the lead.
ÂI just kept telling myself to deal with the good and the bad, which is something I havenÂt really been doing over the last few months. I managed to stay calm and with that the putts just kept dropping,Â he said.
The course offered up plenty of scoring and Lloyd carded 64, which was the low round of the day, to set the clubhouse lead on 12-under early in the day.
Dean OÂRiley missed a three-footer on the 18th for birdie, which left him a stroke shy of making it into the playoff. He none-the-less finished third on an 11-under-par total.
Martin du Toit carded a Wednesday 65 to claim sole fourth on 10-under. He was followed by Ryan Tipping and Jacques Kruyswijk, both of whom shot 67 to share fifth on nine-under.
Hough played some classy golf this week and will be brimming with confidence when he tees it up at the Investec Royal Swazi Open qualifier, which is his next stop on tour.