Rhys wraps up Big Easy playoff

On Wednesday Rhys West won his maiden title at the Sunshine Big Easy Tour’s Wingate tournament, where he birdied the second extra hole for a playoff victory.


“It was a satisfying moment,” he said. “I won quite a few playoffs in my amateur days, but this win counts for quite a lot and it was really nice to get the job done today.”


The 25-year-old birdied the 18th hole during regulation play to join Neil Cheetham, Roberto Lupini, and Eddie Taylor in a share of the lead on three-under-par for the tournament. The tie meant extra trips down the 18th and on the first playoff hole West and Cheetham made birdie to progress.


On the next run down 18 West found the fairway. Cheetham pushed it right and found trouble in the trees, which left the soon-to-be champion with a comfortable trip to his first victory.


“I’ve been playing good golf and just been knocked down a couple of times,” said West. “I felt good coming into the week and I’ve finished fifth and sixth at my previous two Big Easy tournaments, so it’s nice to achieve this victory today.”


The Glendower Golf Club member turned professional on the back of a glittering amateur career. He captured the under-16 South African Boy's Stroke Play championship in 2005 and won the under-19 South African Boy's Stroke Play championship the following season. He was the 2006 South African Junior Golfer of the Year and was a winner on the Ernie Els Junior Tour. He also represented South Africa in the Junior World Championships in Japan.


After finishing tied for 28th at Sunshine Tour Qualifying School in January West headed straight onto the professional scene. He was in the hunt at big tournaments and finished 14th at the Telkom Business PGA Championship in March.


The Big Easy Tour helps professionals to develop their game and build towards success on the bigger stage. West earned a playoff victory on Wednesday and he was optimistic with the cheque secure under his arm.


“When you get to big events it’s the realisation of a dream. You’re so excited about being on tour, but you have to remember that you still need to take care of business. I’m sure this win will affect me when I contend in the future,” he said.


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