Toto Thimba claimed his second victory on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour presented by Stonehage after shooting a final-round 68 at Centurion Country Club on Wednesday.
“It feels good to win. I’m very confident with my game and my putting, and I won because I managed to eliminate mistakes,” he explained. “I’m happy that the result came out, because I’ve put a lot of hard work into my game recently.”
The Mamelodi local carded rounds of 66 and 68 at the R100,000 tournament to reach a 10-under-par total and clinch a one-stroke victory from Darryn Lloyd.
“It felt so good because I knew that I had played really well,” Thimba chimed. “It was a great round for me today and taking a win really means a lot.”
His maiden win came in 2012 at Big Easy Houghton, where he cruised to 11-under-par and sealed a one-stroke victory. He flourished in a similar fashion on the front nine at Centurion, making four birdies to reach the turn with a two-stroke lead.
But the 27-year-old had to dig deep on the stretch after making a double bogey at the 15th, which eliminated the lead that he had built up on the front nine.
“I was nervous after making that double on 15, but my caddie told me to just play my game. I went to the 16th and made birdie and that helped me to settle down. It was inspiring to win after that setback,” he said.
With his game on top form and his second title in the bank, Thimba was ready to contest at the Zambia Sugar Open, where he’ll tee up from the 16th of May.
“I’m taking my golf seriously and I’ve been working hard, so I’m looking forward to playing in Zambia with the same confidence that I have now,” he said.
Lloyd is surely due a win after his last three tournaments. He finished second in a playoff at Big Easy Observatory in April, then came tied third at the Investec Royal Swazi Open last week and this week finished sole second just one shot off the pace.
“Winning takes care of everything,” he remarked. “But never-the-less I am playing well and want to keep doing so. I know I will eventually be rewarded, so I’m just staying patient for now.”
Overnight leader Derik Ferreira battled around in 73 blows on Wednesday to slip back to a share of third on seven-under-par. He was joined by Jacques Kruyswijk, JJ Senekal and Steven Ferreira.
Amateur Christiaan Bezuidenhout had a standout tournament, carding rounds of 68 and 70 to finish on a six-under-par total. He received his invitation through a development initiative between the Big Easy Tour and the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation and, while he doesn’t earn a cheque for his efforts, will take plenty away from his tied-seventh result this week.