22nd September 2022 | Big Easy Tour
Olivier wills himself to victory at Services
Willie Olivier shrugged off an indifferent season on the Altron Big Easy Tour to claim a one-stroke victory over Keegan McLachlan in the Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day tournament held at Services Golf Club on Thursday.
The 24-year-old Atlantic Beach Links player admitted on Thursday that his has not been the best season – with five missed cuts in six Altron Big Easy Tour tournaments. He carded a round of 66 at Services to win by one.
“I had no expectations coming in,” said Olivier. “I was struggling for a few months on the Big Easy and I just came out and played but luckily, I got some birdies out there today. It has been a tough season; I have made only one cut – at Randpark – but I am glad that the results are coming in. I have worked hard to try and get back to the level I was at.”
Olivier birdied the third, the fifth and the ninth holes for a blemish-free 33 on the front nine. The birdie on the par-five ninth gave him some confidence to go for more and he was rewarded with back-to-back birdies on 10 and 11. He gave nothing away on the next three holes before making further gains with a birdie on the par-three 15th.
“If you see you can go low in 18 holes, there’s nothing stopping you from going on for three or four days,” added Olivier, “so this win gives me that confidence to say I can put together a few low rounds even on the Big Easy Tour. The difference is that you need to concentrate a little bit more over the three or four days.
“Today I made a few birdies thanks to my wedges and I was happy with that because I have been working hard at improving many aspects of my game. The wedges and the putting were great today and that’s why, I think, I was able to shoot a low one. Last night when I was jotting down my goals for today, one of those was to play a bit conservatively because this course is not so long and it can punish you at any time.”
While it was Olivier who eventually walked home with the winner’s cheque, McLachlan will be satisfied with his effort in Pretoria as his 67 earned him a runners-up finish. He sits second on the Blue Label Development Tour’s Order of Merit which is led by Coert Groenewald who placed in a share of third in Thursday’s tournament.
There are 10 tournaments in the series and all are being played in Gauteng. There are no entry fees required from the participating players, ensuring more playing opportunities. The Blue Label Development Tour events carry a R50 000 purse for each of the 10 one-day tournaments while expanding playing opportunities for players to sharpen their skills further.
The winner of the Order of Merit after the tournament in Benoni next week will earn themselves an invite to the Sunshine Tour’s Blue Label Challenge at the iconic Gary Player Country Club in mid-October.