“There’s a lot of improvement in my game and I’m thinking very differently now. Playing 20-under was special, because my goal was 12-under for the week, so I’m not going to complain,” he said.
The 26-year-old claimed the first of 15 cards on offer at the 72-hole tournament, shooting rounds of 67, 62, 69, 70 to finish the week 12 shots better than his nearest rival Dwayne Basson.
“If you don’t get your card it can break your confidence,” said Mahoney. “It’s like coming back out of matric if you lose your card, because you have to start from square one again, so this was an important week for me.”
Mahoney won last year on a five-under-par total. He was 15 shots better this time around and looked forward to a stellar 2016 season.
“I’m happy with my game and the way I played. I kept calm and realised that the way I walked to the ball and ran through my pre-shot routine was very important.
“There’s a break now before the SA Open, but I’ve decided not to go and relax, because I want to keep this good form going,” he said.
The tournament is named in honour of former Sunshine Tour board member Vusi Ngubeni and aims to give previously disadvantaged golfers the opportunity to compete on the Sunshine Tour. Making professional golf more accessible to young black players was a key focus for Ngubeni, who was also involved with the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation.
This week at Modderfontein was a showcase for upcoming young talent on tour. Basson closed out the week on eight-under, while Sipho Bujela was third on seven-under.