“I’m very happy that I did it. I put in the preparation and didn’t give up, because I knew that I needed a good result this week. I’ve got my card and now the hard works starts,” he said.
At the beginning of the week 135 hopefuls began the 72-hole tournament, but it was Mahoney who came out tops after he shot rounds of 72, 69, 73, 69 to finish on five-under-par. Winning tournaments has been a life-long goal for the 25-year-old.
“I started playing golf at the age of nine. Later on I played amateur tournaments for Boland and then I got my SA colours. I have always wanted to become a professional golfer, and now that I’ve got my Sunshine Tour card I can start to live my dream,” he said.
The tournament is named after former Sunshine Tour board member Vusi Ngubeni, who passed away in a motor accident in 2003. Over the last decade the event has given previously disadvantaged golfers the opportunity to compete on tour for a season.
Mahoney was excited for the year ahead and his victory on Friday sparked the confidence.
“I’ve got a plan for the year and I’m looking forward to being on tour. My main goal is to keep my card and in the future to win a few tournaments. Doing this has given me a lot of self belief for the year and I’m keen to play with the big guys on the Sunshine Tour,” he said.
Second-placed Makhetha Mazibuko led for 54 holes and had a two-shot cushion going into the final round, but he was unable to cement the win. A disappointing double bogey on the 13th would be his undoing and he went on to sign for 73 and sole second on four-under-par.
Veteran Kenneth Dube worked his way around in 69 to finish third, while young gun Mpho Mafishe shot consecutive 71s after the cut to take home fourth place. Sipho Bujela was fifth on one-under and Thabang Simon sixth on level par.
It was an intense week for everyone who teed up and the graduates were visibly relieved by the time they posed for photos on Friday afternoon. The 2015 season awaits!