“I made three big mistakes and managed to claw my way back, which is a huge confidence booster. Knowing that I can drop a few shots and still come back to win will definitely stay with me in the future,” he said.
The 25-year-old shot consecutive rounds of 71 at Glendower Golf Club to finish on two-under-par for the tournament, trumping runner-up Henk Alberts by two shots during the final regular event of the 2014 Big Easy season.
The Tour Championship begins on the 15th of September at The Els Club, Copperleaf and Ryan secured his place at the season finale with victory on Wednesday.
“I’m headed to the Wild Coast for the next two main tour events and then on to the Big Easy Tour Championship, so it’s a really nice time to be playing well,” he said.
Glendower is famous as the host venue for the South African Open Championship and it has always presented a true test of golf. In the heart of Johannesburg winter the course is firm and that makes it play tougher than usual. The scores this week were a reflection of the test that Glendower presented, but Ryan was up to the task and was the only player to break par on both days.
It was a hard-fought victory by the Bryanston Country Club member, who had two double-bogeys on his card. He fought back like a true champion and followed an eagle at the 15th with a birdie at the 16th to clinch the title.
“I got off to a bad start on the back nine, but I knew that I had two par-fives coming up. When I parred the first of those two I knew that I would have to make an eagle and 15 was the perfect opportunity. After taking driver off the tee I hit a sand wedge to six feet and sank the putt, which really got me going. On the next I hit a great pitch to about eight feet and sank it for birdie, and that was it,” he smiled.
Alberts carded rounds of 73, 71 to take up sole second, while Grant Veenstra and Mark Fensham tied for third place on two-over-par for the week. Both Veenstra and Fensham earned spots at the Tour Championship through this week’s result.