28th June 2019 | Sunshine Tour
Aggressive golf drives Thimba into Kenya contention
Toto Thimba has used no other club except for his driver off all the tees around the Karen Country Club layout, and after shooting a second-round nine-under-par 63 to total 13-under par, he is sitting three shots off the lead going into the weekend.
“Look, I hit driver everywhere here,” said the member of the Gary Player Class, “and I’m hitting it good. I’m an aggressive player and I think this course suits me. I told my caddy that I’m not holding back and if I want to win here, I must hit driver everywhere.”
That strategy looks to be paying off because while he did make a bogey on the 14th hole of the course, his fifth, he didn’t make a lot of mistakes and collected 10 birdies in the process. Despite that unwanted drop, Thimba showed patience and the rewards came soon after, as he birdied his 3rd, 6th, 7th and the ninth hole to total 33 on that stretch. His homeward nine – the front of the golf course – was spectacular and characterised by four birdies on the trot from the first hole – his 10th – through the fourth, his 13th. Then, one on six and another on seven as he went out in 30.
Despite the aggressive approach, however, Thimba also notes an improvement mentally and adopting a more positive attitude, plus the putting tips he got from his playing partner, Anton Haig, for his round two exploits in Kenya.
“I feel like I can win,” he says, “because I feel I’m mentally strong. I’ve been reading a book by Martin Luther King and I think that helped me a lot. I feel good about the way I’m playing. I played with Anton Haig today and I have to thank him because he gave me a few tips about my putting. I feel good about myself.”
In a bullish expression of confidence, the Pretoria-based Thimba is not mincing his words about his objective this week.
“I feel like I can win,” he said, boldly. “When you play well, everything looks easy and I played well, so it was kind of easy for me. I want to win. I’m not here playing to make the cut. I want to win by a big margin but I will keep that to myself.”
He has vowed not to change his aggressive approach and instead intends to go all out come the weekend.
Thimba is a member of the Gary Player Class, the Sunshine Tour’s development programme which benefits from the longstanding support of the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB), founded in 1999 by Johann Rupert as the official body for golf development in South Africa, as well as the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation (EEFF) in a collective effort to use golf to improve the lives of disadvantaged South Africans.