Morne stands the test at Royal

Morne Buys shot a Wednesday 70 at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club to reach a winning four-under-par total at the Sunshine Big Easy Tour’s ninth tournament of 2013.

 

“I enjoy this feeling. I haven’t won in three years and this is really good. I hit one or two bad shots, but my irons were spot-on this week and that made me a lot calmer when it got tough,” he said.

 

The 35-year-old was the only player to break par for both rounds of the R100,000 tournament, shooting 70 on both days for a one-stroke victory over Lindani Ndwandwe and Tsietsi Mofokeng.

 

“I’ve been playing well for the last couple of weeks,” said Buys. “And it gives me a lot of confidence to shoot both rounds under par at this course. If you can do that, even in winter, then you’ve played very well.”

 

The 2011 Big Easy Modderfontein winner kept a cool head on Wednesday and made a timely birdie at the 17th to shift the pressure to Ndwandwe, who was chasing hard at the time.

 

“That was a big putt on the 17th, because Lindani didn’t want to go away,” said Buys. “He made birdie on 15 and kept the pressure on me, but my birdie on the 17th meant that he had to make a birdie at the 18th just to tie with me.”

 

The Sand River Golf Club professional had his father spectating during both rounds, and spoke of how important it was to have that support on the course.

 

“My father has always been a very supportive guy, especially when it comes to my golf. A lot of people don’t have that, and it’s really a big help to have him supporting me,” he explained.

 

Royal Johannesburg is a course that demands good ball striking. It penalises wayward shots and at 7000 metres in length forces players to push for birdies. The course hosts the Joburg Open, which is one of the most lucrative events on the Sunshine Tour schedule, as well as International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship.

 

Buys was up to the test and his reward is a first win since 2011.

 

“This week I just focused on playing my style of golf, despite the length and difficulty of this course. I had to take on the course a bit during the second round, and luckily managed to succeed,” he smiled.

 

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