17th August 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Thimba aims for the top at Zebula
The changes Toto Thimba made to his game are starting to bear fruit as the member Gary Player Class has been enjoying positive results lately.
Thimba came from a share of second at the Sun Carnival City Challenge with Alex Haindl where they both lost to eventual winner JC Ritchie by a single stroke. He carried that form through to the opening round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Zebula Country Club where he signed for a 67 on Thursday, three shots behind the leading Colin Nel.
“I am very good with that round,” he said of his first round. “I am happy with my game. If I can play on these greens week in and week out, I can win. I gave myself a chance to be out there.”
What was most pleasing for Thimba, however, was his start to this event which left him three shots of the early pace set by Nel.
“I always start badly and I come back the next day,” he noted, “this is a good sign. I started well, I am five-under. I have to go low again. Last week I lost by one and this time I don’t want to lose,”
He knows, though, that it will take more than a solid first round to win a tournament. A strong mental attitude goes a long way when competing with players as good as there are on the Sunshine Tour.
“Look, I changed my mindset,” he said. “I changed how I think, how I approach the game of golf and I am a very positive person. A lot of things have changed. I have been working hard on my putting. I didn’t complain every time when I played bad. I have made an adjustment with how I approach my game. I think it is working at the moment. I am very pleased with the situation that I am going through and this is the dream come true. I want to win them all,”
The 32-year-old is eyeing his biggest cheque to date and the prospect of becoming the first member of the Gary Player Class to win a Sunshine Tour event since the inception of the programme in November of 2016.
The Gary Player Class is 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.