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Williamson secures maiden Big Easy title with Blue Valley triumph

Andrew Williamson produced yet another fine round of golf on Thursday when he carded a four-under-par 68 in the final round of the Altron Big Easy Tour to claim his first professional win on 13-under-par 203 at Blue Valley Golf Estate. That total handed him a three-shot victory over Zambia’s Dayne Moore and LB Boshoff. The Irene Golf Club member brought a one-stroke lead into the final round and needed a strong start in the final round to keep his momentum. Three birdies in the first five holes provided Williamson with a strong enough start and after making pars on the sixth and seventh, he found more joy as he birdied the par-three eighth. Just before the turn, however, Williamson made his third bogey of what was a strong three days for the 28-year-old from Irene. In a similar fashion, as he has done all week, Williamson bounced back with a birdie after that drop. Those gains were made on the par-four 11th. From there on, Williamson kept things cool while managing tricky situations with the mastery of a seasoned professional. “It’s difficult to put it into words right now,” said an emotional Williamson of how he felt about his maiden Tour victory. “Golf is a funny game; I haven’t played much tournament golf in the last few months, apart from the odd Big Easy here or there. I’ve been really busy with work, and just getting out on the golf course has been a struggle in the last few months. “My goal for the week was just to enjoy the game because, with the way my golf has been going the last few years, it’s easy to dig yourself into a rut and not appreciate the small victories. One of those is just enjoying the game for what it is and this week, I did that. The results took care of themselves. So, sometimes less is more.” By his own admission, Williamson’s win in Centurion was by no means an easy feat. He had to ward off challenges from some of the most in-form players on the circuit right now. Among those was Moore, whose final-round 63 catapulted him to a share of second with Boshoff on 10-under for the week. Boshoff made five bogeys on his way to a final round 70 and will feel that had he been able to mitigate against those, he would have had a real shot at the title this week. Williamson, however, presented a cool figure who seemed to have had most situations under control, despite the piling pressure. “Winning is so hard because professional golf in South Africa is so strong,” added Williamson. “There are some tremendous players on the Big Easy Tour and when I looked at the leaderboard last night, I saw guys that are playing some good golf and I knew they were coming. The guys are playing good golf and I knew they were not going to leave shots out there and that they would pile all the pressure. “I think the Big Easy Tour doesn’t get enough credit for how strong a Tour it is to play on. There are a lot of Sunshine Tour players on any given week and the fields are always strong. So, to have started the way I did today, it settled me down a bit. The nerves kicked in a bit more on the back nine but I think I handled them well. To stay composed and handle the nerves the way I did was gratifying for me. “For me, it’s really cool to hold my own against such a strong field. It’s a huge confidence booster because this game can really get you down at times. So, when you do prove to yourself that you are capable of doing some really cool things, it’s just a wave I’d like to ride for as long as possible and use it motivation to just keep working harder.” The Blue Valley Golf Estate event was the sixth of 10 Altron Big Easy Tournaments for the season. The next tournament will be held at Kyalami Golf Club in early December.

Williamson shoots 66 to go top at Blue Valley

Andrew Williamson says while he wasn’t in control of many situations during his second round of the Altron Big Easy Tour event at Blue Valley Golf Estate, on Wednesday, he was happy to shoot a 66 which placed him atop the leaderboard ahead of the final round. On nine-under-par for the tournament and a stroke clear of the field, and thanks to a near-perfect six-under 66 on day two, Williamson knows he has a real chance of walking off the course a champion on Thursday. He was playing solid golf on day two and were it not for the bogey he made on 15, his would have been a blemish-free round. “You know, when we walked off the ninth green, I told Connor (Mackenzie) that sometimes you are not in control. There’s just a wave that you catch and I kind of just rode the wave today,” said Williamson. “I just did my thing. I just let things happen and didn’t try to control too much and the result was a really solid day out. I’m happy with how I played and my game felt good. I did struggle around the greens in some instances but luckily, I hit a few greens so I didn’t have to worry too much about getting up and down too much.” Williamson started the second round from the 10th tee and made three straight pars as he sought to avoid any big number early on in the day. His patience was rewarded with a birdie on his fourth but those gains were taken from, no thanks to the drop he made on the par-three 15th, his sixth hole of the day. Williamson made up for the drop with a birdie just before the turn. That birdie proved to be the first of four, one after the other, and from there on, the Irene Golf Club player didn’t make any more mistakes. He birdied his 16th, made par on 17 and then closed off with another birdie to get himself into contention. “There were quite a few key moments which really kept me in the round today,” Williams added. “On the first, which was my 10th hole, I hit a really nice approach there; to about three feet. I made a birdie there and then on the second hole, I didn’t hit a really good shot. But, I made a long putt to get to three under for the round and then on the fourth, I made another great putt.” Williamson knows, however, that there is still a lot of golf to be played and, with as many challengers as there will be, patience will be key. LB Boshoff leads the chasing pack on eight-under while Caylum Boon’s 69 helped to a total of seven-under with 18 holes to play. “I have not been in this situation too many times but I have learnt from that one experience I have had,” said Williamson, noting the pressure that comes with being where he is currently – the top. “I think it’s a privilege to be in this position because this is what we play for; why we put in the work and the hours. We want to win golf tournaments. And I think the pressure that comes with that is also a privilege.” Last week’s winner, Travis Ladner, Dylan O’Leary, Xander Basson, Stals Swart and Samuel Simpson are only three back and either one will fancy their chances at glory on Thursday. Harry Konig, Christopher Long and overnight leader, Slade Pickering tie the ninth spot on five-under-par.

Pickering goes low for Blue Valley lead

Slade Pickering played a scintillating opening round of seven-under-par 65 to lead by two strokes on day one of the Altron Big Easy Tour event at Blue Valley Golf Estate on Tuesday. Pickering started like a house on fire on Tuesday, making three birdies on the trot before making a round-boosting eagle on the par-five fifth. Three straight pars on the front nine sealed a bogey-free 31 on that stretch. He added four more pars to his card before making further gains; birdieing the 14th to go six-under through 14. “I started off with those three birdies and the eagle and I kind of went blank on that stretch,” said Pickering in the post-round interview. “To be fair, on the second hole I hit it into a bunker and I did have a great lie, with a bit of sand behind the ball. And then, when I hit it, it just popped out onto the green and rolled into the hole and then from there, I didn’t really think, I just played.” With the wind starting to pick up a little around Blue Valley, Pickering was not going to be overwhelmed. Instead, he relied on information he’d collected during his practice round here as he navigated the first round of this 54-hole tournament. “When I saw the wind this morning when I came to the golf course I just told myself that today I don’t have to fight the wind,” revealed Pickering. “I just told myself that I need to play my game and not worry about the wind. I just went out and plotted my way around; played to my strengths and it worked. Most of my play was positioning; putting myself into positions where I was comfortable with the club and that worked out for me.” Pickering, who plays out of Peacanwood Golf Estate, dropped a shot on the 16th en route to his near-perfect outing on Tuesday. However, he was quick to shrug that off, with back-to-back birdies affirming a round of 65 and confirming Pickering’s spot atop the leaderboard. Two shots off the pace after the first round lies Werner Deyzel. His eventful round consisted of four birdies, two eagles and two dropped shots. Despite the two bogeys he made, Deyzel was pleased with his start at Blue Valley. “I played really well today,” he said. “The first 13 holes, I hit 13 greens and made a couple of putts and I was six-under at some stage. My strategy was just to hit good shots off the tee. My game is feeling good right now and the flat stick is working, so I am not complaining.” Mauritian Pierre Pellegrin, last week’s winner Travis Ladner, Dylan O’Leary, Lyle Pedro, LB Boshoff, Caylum Boon and Cameron Moralee all carded rounds of 68 to share the third spot after the opening round. Andrew Williamson, veteran Thabang Simon, Christopher Long and Warwick Purchase make up the top 10 on three-under-par.

Ladner rallies from behind to claim Big Easy title at Akasia

Travis Ladner claimed a dramatic come-from-behind victory on the Altron Big Easy Tour after he shot a final-round 68 to total 12-under-par 204 and defeat close friend, Stals Swart, by two shots at Akasia Golf Club on Wednesday. The 22-year-old Ladner had posted similar scores in the first and second rounds of this 54-hole event and was just a shot behind overnight leader, Marthin Scheepers, going into the final round. “It was a crazy finish out there,” said Ladner after he birdied the last for a two-stroke victory. “It hasn’t really sunk in. I’m obviously gutted for Stals, one of my best mates. It sucks to see him finish like that but I’m chuffed with how I played this week and I’m happy to finally get it done.” He started the final round with a birdie on the first hole but immediately gave that shot away on the second. He steadied himself and made back-to-back pars before another birdie – this time on the par-five fifth. Ladner made further gains on the seventh and eighth, birdieing both those holes. But that joy was short-lived, too, as yet another bogey visited his card. After the turn, Ladner, who plays out of Eagle Canyon Golf Estate, gave nothing away; making seven pars and a pair of birdies to seal his first title on any Sunshine Tour-sanctioned event. “I played in the Sunshine Tour’s Origins of Golf event at Pezula last week and I missed the cut there.” he said, “So, I didn’t have any expectations this week. I met a good caddie; he offered to carry my bag and we got along and it was just easy with him on the bag. I mean, we didn’t hit into the bush once. We kept it in play the whole day. It was a good round.” Soft-spoken and always focused, Ladner, who has had a couple of good rounds this season already, refuses to get carried away, even in the aftermath of a momentous victory. “It’s obviously nice to win but I’m still going to stay patient and stay positive,” said Ladner. “It’s nice to win now before we go to the co-sanctioned tournaments and their pre-qualifiers. Hopefully, this gives me a little bit of confidence. I know that if you stick to your processes, everything will fall into place and what’s meant to be, will be.” Disappointing as Swart’s finish was – a double-bogey seven in the par-five 18th – the Sunshine Tour rookie should be proud of his effort this week. Minus that double on the last and the drop he made of the first hole, Swart’s final round here was just as solid. Swart might not have won this week, but he will, certainly, be celebrating Ladner’s victory too.

Course knowledge helps Scheepers to Akasia lead

The bad weather that surrounded Akasia Golf Club on Tuesday meant little to Marthin Scheepers as he dazzled to a sizzling eight-under-par 64 second-round of the Altron Big Easy Tour event here to assume the top spot on nine-under par ahead of the final round. The weather-affected round was eventually abandoned as tournament officials realised that the course was unplayable after a long enough delay on Tuesday. Scheepers had already done his job at this time. He was seven under through 15 – the best score of the round – and soaking wet. When play resumed on Wednesday, Scheepers was ready to go and a birdie on the last catapulted him to the summit of the leaderboard, one stroke ahead of the chasing Travis Ladner. “What many people don’t know is that I grew up around here and I have played this course in every possible weather condition,” revealed Scheepers of the weather conditions after his round. “I just kept playing; hit some good shots and made really nice putts. I think it helped that I know the course. “I felt the “home-ground” advantage played against me in the first round, however, because the greens were playing slightly different to what I am used to. I hit some lines that would normally be okay but I just completely missed the hole. I adapted to that in the second round and made some good putts. That was the difference but I still think knowing the course really well helped me this week.” Six birdies and an eagle characterised scheepers’ faultless round. He made four birdies on the front nine – on the third, fifth, sixth and eighth holes – to turn in 32. Coming home, an eagle on the par-five 14th was accompanied by birdies on 15 and 18 which are also par-fives. “On the first hole, I left one short and on the second, I missed a five-footer for birdie,” he said, “but, I think other than that, I played really well. I am looking forward to the final round. It’s always nice to challenge, especially in your own backyard. I think the final round will be interesting; the greens might be a bit more receptive. “The weather is a lot different than it was yesterday. I think, however, it will be more of a percentage golf; hit fairways, hit greens and make your putts.” Ladner’s second successive round of 68 took his tournament total to eight-under and he will feel he has an opportunity to snatch victory here after all is said and done. Taking a share of the third spot on six-under for the week are Ricky Hendler, Matthew Rushton, Zambia’s Dayne Moore, Ruan Groenewald and Stals Swart. Tumelo Molloyi, Englishman Harry Konig, Werner Deyzel and Dylan O’Leary make up the top 10 on a tournament total of five-under, four shots adrift of Scheepers’ lead.

Majola takes lessons from rookie season struggles

Like many children growing up in the townships of South Africa, Sunshine Tour rookie Sabelo Majola had little to no aspiration of taking up golf as a sport of choice, let alone playing the game professionally. This was primarily because of the lack of golfing facilities in the township of KwaMashu in KwaZulu Natal where he grew up. The second reason had to do with the lack of resources, financial and otherwise, which play a huge role in the development and ultimate success of any golfer. So, the obvious sport of choice was football. Then in 2009, and while still a teenager, Majola was introduced to Joseph Kunene, manager of the KwaZulu Natal South African Golf Development Board, and that’s when his golfing journey began. “Honestly, I never imagined playing golf professionally,” Majola says. “But, the more I got into it, I found that I liked the sport, and I couldn’t stop. I was always playing soccer like my friends, but when they began to leave the township to live in other parts of the country, I found myself bored, and that’s when I began to take the sport seriously.” And while the SAGDB did all it could to give him the necessary training and support, and as grateful as Majola is for all that, he credits Sunshine Tour professional Thanda Mavundla for encouraging him to play the gentlemen’s game. “Thanda is the one who taught me how to even hold a club properly,” adds Majola with a wide smile on his face. “He has supported me since my days in the SAGDB and is the one who always told me to give golf my all and that I will be rewarded. We are both from KZN, and I will always be grateful to him. He is like a brother to me.” Majola turned professional in 2022 and secured his 2023/24 Altron Big Easy Tour card at the Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament. The real test would now begin for the Mount Royal resident. He was now a professional golfer, competing in professional events. “My first season has been tough,” he admits, “but I expected it to be like that. My first weakness was the weather. Firstly, I have always played my golf in KZN and the weather is different there than what it is here in Johannesburg. I’ve never played on snow, and one of my first events on the Big Easy was on snow. So, I told myself that this would be my learning season. “I have been learning, and that’s why I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I just go into the tournament with the mentality that I must do better than I did in the previous tournament. It’s a learning process.” Majola has played three Altron Big Easy Tour events and missed the cut in all three. He has also struggled in the Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day events where he has two starts to his name. The solitary Sunshine Tour event he has played – Vodacom Origins of Golf KZN – also saw him miss the cut. In short, it has been a season of struggles for the 27-year-old Durban Golf Club member. He is not panicking, however, and instead, Majola has set himself what he sees as an attainable goal. “My aim is to make the top 10 in the remaining events of the season so that I can get my Sunshine Tour card. I know it won’t be easy, but I am prepared to work for it. You know, they say talent alone doesn’t cut it; you have to work hard. I take golf as my job and I invest a lot of time working on the aspects that I have to improve.” Majola is in the field of this week’s event at Akasia Golf Club and will hope to make his first cut of the season after an opening round of three-under-par 69.

Amateur De Abreu takes early Big Easy lead at Akasia

Fabrizio De Abreu made four birdies and an eagle on his way to a five-under-par 67 score in the opening round of the Altron Big Easy Tour tournament at Akasia Golf Club, taking a one-shot lead. The Woodhill Golf Estate player displayed maturity early in his round, making four straight pars to ease into the first 18 holes of this 54-hole event. Once settled and in his zone, the 17-year-old got into his groove and made an eagle on the par-five fifth. He then gave a shot away on the next hole, but just as swiftly as he'd made that bogey, De Abreu made back-to-back birdies on the eighth and ninth holes to turn in 32. The start to the homeward nine was almost similar to how he began the front nine, with four pars from 10 through to 13 followed by birdies on 14 and 15, both par-fives. From there on, De Abreu, ranked 17th on the GOLFRSA Men’s Open rankings, kept things steady and didn’t give away any more shots. “I had a good round out there today,” said De Abreu, one of GolfRSA’s promising future stars. “I started well and stayed patient throughout the round. I started off nicely – with an eagle on the fifth – and that helped. I just tried to stick to my game plan, which we worked out before the tournament, and at the moment it has worked out well. “A round like this gives you confidence because there are some really good players on the Big Easy, and to shoot a round like that is special. I believe in myself, and I am happy with the way I conducted myself. The course here suits my game well, but today, I just hit fairways and greens the whole day; solid golf. “The plan was to play easy golf; hit fairways and greens and stay patient when things are not going my way. If you hit the greens here, the birdies will come. So, I am really happy with how I played and I am hoping to do the same tomorrow.” Just a shot adrift and after a round of 68, England’s Harry Koning, Ruan Groenwald, Werner Deyzel, Travis Ladner, and member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class, Keelan Africa will aim to unseat the young De Abreu as they make a charge for the summit. Also impressive on day one of this Sunshine Tour development circuit was rookie Sabelo Majola, whose 69 on day one landed him in a five-way share of the seventh spot. Majola has not made a cut in any Altron Big Easy Tour tournament this season, and after Monday’s round, the Royal Durban Golf Club member will enter the second round rejuvenated and hopefully make his first cut since obtaining his playing privileges at the Altron Vusi Ngubeni tournament earlier in the year.

Scholtz enters Blue Label winner’s circle with Killarney triumph

Marcel Steyn Scholtz shrugged off a double-bogey on the 12th hole and marched to his maiden Tour victory in the Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day tournament held at Killarney Country Club on Monday. He shot an inspired three-under-par 67 to claim a one-shot victory over the duo of Keegan McLachlan and Therion Nel to win his first tournament as a professional. Interestingly, Scholtz never played golf as a junior but began to take the sport seriously in 2017 when he was 23 years old. Before then, he was a rugby player at university. “I am really stoked to have my first win as a professional,” said Scholtz after his round. “As a child growing up in Limpopo I used to dream of playing professional golf but I never I never had the opportunity to play as a youngster. I just played social golf. “But, when I finished my degree I was in a good place mentally and physically and that’s when I thought I should take golf seriously. Today, I am happy I made that decision. For some, this may be a small win but for me, it’s huge because of where I come from. So, I want to say thank you to the Sunshine Tour and Blue Label for making these tournaments for us.” En route to this memorable win at Killarney, Scholtz fired in a bogey-free 32 on the front nine of this par-70 layout. He made birdies on the second hole, the par-five fifth and the eighth holes to turn with an unblemished scorecard. Then the round was suspended due to an approaching storm. Coming home, the 29-year-old Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate made another birdie on 11 but a double on the 12th threatened his progress. Scholtz steadied himself, making back-to-back pars in the next two holes. He found his groove again on the 15th, a par-five, and made further gains to finish his round on three-under 67 and go home victorious. “I gave myself a lot of chances today,” he said. “This is a good golf course and you need to place it well off the tee. The approach shots are also very important here if you want to give yourself a chance on the greens. But the key for me was in and around the greens. I rolled in a few nice putts today and that was down to creating good opportunities for myself. That was my goal today; to create as many opportunities for myself and I did that well. “A win is a win, no matter what tournament you are playing. For me, this win comes at the right time and I think it will give me confidence going into Wild Coast this week.” Scholtz is in the field of the Sunshine Tour’s Wild Coast event this week and following his win in testing weather conditions, he will have every right to look forward to what that tournament brings. “When the wind was up this morning, I played nicely and I was controlling the ball nicely,” Scholtz noted. “I was hitting good shots and shaping them the way I wanted. I think that is important at Wild Coast. The way you shape your shots and control your ball flight and the spin is very important because of the weather there. But, I will be ready and I am looking forward to going at it again.” The Blue Label Development Tour is another Sunshine Tour initiative designed to afford players more playing opportunities.

For the Love of Golf and Law: Motsa’s Balancing Act

The game of professional golf is challenging, demanding, and often frustrating, and juggling that with any other profession becomes a tall order for many. In certain instances, for some individuals, both professions tend to suffer if not well taken care of. Enter Ricco Motsa. The 49-year-old member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class is a multi-tasking master. Motsa, born and raised in the rural areas of Barberton, is not just a regular professional golfer. He is also a practicing lawyer, boasting two law firms; one in Alberton and the other in Nhlazatshe near Badplaas. “I was admitted as a lawyer in 2005,” Motsa revealed ahead of his tee-off time in this week’s Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day tournament at Killarney Country Club on Monday. “I have, for the better part of my life, known only law. As a youngster, I was not exposed to golf. “After matric, I was fortunate enough to do my first law degree which took me four years and later on, I did my second degree in LLB at Vista University. Obviously, for me, law comes first because it pays the bills, but both professions are like two employers demanding equal attention.” Motsa’s golfing journey didn’t begin until July of 2013. His brother, Sifiso, introduced him to the gentlemen’s game, and after a few outings as an amateur, Motsa met professionals Thabang Simon and James Kamte, who were already household names in the local golfing scene. “I got very close to Thabang, and he did a lot to help me with my game,” he added, “and later my brother convinced and motivated me to enter the Vusi Ngubeni Tournament, and as they say, the rest is history.” Motsa turned professional in 2022, and having now attained his Sunshine Tour playing card, Motsa’s biggest challenge was to begin. While he already had a busy schedule thanks to his work, professional golf brought its demands and forced Motsa into a strict time-management regime. “My daily routine starts at 4 am, even if I have a tournament,” revealed Motsa, “I must start at the office first and then go for practice before starting a tournament. I always worry if I have a tournament only to find that the court sent me a hearing date. I am so worried about double bookings. So, the biggest challenge for me is that I have no control over the dates of either a tournament or a court case.” Despite his hectic schedule, Motsa remains inspired and committed to both professions. Having been exposed to the strict demands of courts and judges, Motsa thrives under the pressure that comes with golf in particular. “I know very well that talent alone is not enough,” he says. “Hard work is vital. Fortunately, law taught me to read a lot, and judges would want heads of arguments to be submitted before 5 a.m. in some cases. So this helped me to accept the challenges in golf.” In golf, however, challenges never end. As a member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class, the Sunshine Tour’s transformation initiative aimed at providing more support – technical and financial – to the players of colour, Motsa understands the struggles that come with professional golf for previously disadvantaged communities. His dream is to see more players of colour being given adequate opportunities to play and proper support to grow within the game. “I wish to see players of color being afforded help and be encouraged to work hard, but players also need to take criticism and take responsibility for their careers,” he says. “I get so much inspiration from the players of colour when we play on Tour. “We have formed an association called the Professional Golfers of Colour Association. We all contribute money into one pool and then use it to cater for our accommodation and travelling on tour as members. This is one of my biggest inspirations, and I feel like we have become brothers, and I love that brotherhood.” Motsa isn’t just an inspiration to the young boys and girls from his rural village in Barberton; he is a shining light to fellow members of the Papwa Sewgolum Class and is a personification of hard work and determination. While his may seem to be an impossible balancing act, Motsa’s willpower and impeccable work ethic are nothing short of inspirational, and many youngsters could benefit from role models of his nature.

Molloyi wins maiden Tour title at Waterkloof

Tumelo Molloyi became the latest member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class to brace the Sunshine Tour winner’s circle after his four-under 68 earned him a one-shot victory in the Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day event at Waterkloof Golf Club on Monday. Until Monday’s win, Molloyi’s season had been a tale of struggles and missed opportunities. He had missed the cut in each of the 10 tournaments he’d played up to this point but the gods of golf would favour him in Pretoria on Monday. “It took me a while to realise that I have won,” revealed Molloyi. “I had a four-foot putt for birdie on the last and I thought if I got to five-under, I’d have a chance. I hit a very good putt but it lipped out and I was four-under. I was among the first guys off today, so it was a very nervy hour of waiting. But I am very happy for this win and to do it with the score I shot today was also special for me.” His round consisted of birdies on the third hole, an eagle on the par-five seventh and a birdie on 13. “I think I missed two or three greens today. As I hit my tee shot on 17, I realised that I was bogey-free. It’s probably the first time I shoot a bogey-free round in a tournament, so that makes it two wins for me today.” Molloyi is not oblivious to the reality of his struggles so far in the season, however. He attributes this to technical changes he is undergoing and insists that the string of poor results will soon be a thing of the past. “About two months ago, I made a coaching change and you know with change, some things take longer to click together; it’s a process,” he said. “Even today, I didn’t play perfect golf and my driver was off the whole day but I managed to miss in the right places. Look, it’s a work in progress but I am just happy that my game is trending in the right direction. I’ve started to putt really nicely, which I have not done in over three years. There’s still a lot of work to be done but things will come together soon.” This win marks the first professional win for the Jackal Creek Golf and Country Club player. It also represents a momentous chapter for the Papwa Sewgolum Class as it shows that with proper investment and support, success is truly inevitable. Moreover, Molloyi’s win is testimony that with a solid development structure in place, talent can be nurtured to thrive over time. Molloyi is a graduate of the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) which was founded by businessman and philanthropist, Johann Rupert, with the aim of taking the game of golf to the grassroots level and making it accessible to everyone. With his victory here, Molloyi joins fellow members of the Papwa Sewgolum Class – Toto Thimba Jnr, Franklin Manchest, Jacquin Hess and Fezekile Kana among others – as members of that transformation initiative who boasts wins on any Sunshine Tour-sanctioned tournament. “This is huge for me,” added Molloyi as members of the Papwa Sewgolum Class embraced him while showering him with congratulations. “I know there is still a lot of work to be done and a lot of competitions, but this moment is really big for me and I want to thank the Sunshine Tour and Blue Label for making it happen.” Molloyi will now turn his attention to the Sunshine Tour where he will be aiming to replicate this success on a much bigger stage. Having tasted victory at this point, Molloyi will head into the next Sunshine Tour event beaming with confidence.  

Deyzel dazzles to victory at Services

Werner Deyzel carded an impressive eight-under-par to claim a three-shot victory over Uganda’s Ronal Rugumayo in the Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day event at Services Golf Club on Thursday. The Woodhill Country Club player, Deyzel, had come close to winning a Sunshine Tour event twice this season, with third-place finishes at Reading Country Club two days ago and in the Altron Bigg Easy Tour at Huddle Park Golf Club last month. On Thursday in the country’s capital city, Werner looked sharp and assured in his play and was not to be denied. Birdies on the first hole, the second and another on the fourth characterised a bogey-free front nine of 33 for Werner, giving him some freedom to express himself coming home. A par after the turn preceded a run of five birdies on the spin before a bogey on his halted Werner’s progress. He steadied himself on the 17th and made par there before sealing his round with a birdie. “I struggled a lot on Tuesday at Reading and I wasn’t playing well,” said Werner, detailing the differences to his performance this week, “but today, I was hitting the ball really well and I was putting really well. “In the all years we have played here, Services has always been a good scoring course. But you have to hit it well off the tee and putt just as well and I think I managed to do that today. I am very happy with myself and I am happy with the way I played today.” A first-time winner on this development circuit, Werner will feel, more than ever before, that he has what it takes to compete and win against the elite of the sport. After all, the competition in this series is as fierce as they come and winning here is ever so tough. “This win means a lot to me because I have been playing good golf over the last couple of months and I am very happy to pull this off,” he said. Second-placed Rugumayo will be just as happy with his results on Thursday. The Ugandan sensation seems to have settled and is beginning to build momentum. His round of seven-under-par 65 at Services will give him some confidence as the season progresses.

Ngcobo decodes secret to Blue Label tournaments

Following his impressive fourth-place finish in the Blue Label Development Tour event at Reading Country Club two days ago, Thabiso Ngcobo feels he has decoded the secret to playing well in these one-day tournaments. The Centurion Country Club player shot two-under-par to take a share of the fourth spot alongside former GolfRSA’s national squad captain, Kyle De Beer, at Reading and feels that in that event, he discovered how to play these types of tournaments. “Usually when you play a three-day or four-day tournament, you have a day to ease yourself into the tournament and not necessarily go to shoot lights out,” started Ngcobo. “But with the Blue Label events, it’s a shoot-out and you need to shoot the lowest round. It’s almost like a pre-qualifier, in a way. You want to play a bit more aggressively; aggressively smart, if I could put it that way. That is the approach I used at Reading and it worked, so we will see how that goes.” He will not wait too long to see whether his new approach is beneficial because he is in the field at Services Golf Club where the third tournament of the series is taking place on Thursday. He is familiar with the track and will want to take advantage of the knowledge he’s amassed about dos and don’ts on this layout. “Services is not that long; very short. If you’re hitting your driver well off the tee, that’s going to leave you with nothing more than a wedge into the greens. I also remember that these greens do spin a lot; I think that’s the only defence that this course has. You need to control the spin and be very precise with your approach shots. “Then, of course, if you’re putting well, that is always going to help you. But, as I said, I will have to be aggressively smart and choose my targets. Other than that, I am looking forward to playing my best.” The 30-year-old, like many of his peers on this circuit, believes the Blue Label Development Tour is a valuable asset of the Sunshine Tour because of the sheer amount of playing opportunities it has provided for the players. “I think the Sunshine Tour and Blue Label did well in creating this avenue for us,” Ngcobo added, “you can see how much the guys appreciate it. It’s a great initiative.” Ngcobo is a member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class, another Sunshine Tour initiative aimed at supporting and fast-tracking transformation within the professional ranks.  

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