6th October 2022 | Big Easy Tour
Pepler rallies from behind to claim Centurion win
Gerhard Pepler claimed a come-from-behind victory in the Altron Big Easy Tour Play-Off tournament, thanks to his final round of five-under 67 at Centurion Country Club on Thursday.
That final round got Pepler’s tournament total to 10-under, a stroke clear of second-placed Jonathan Waschefort.
“I started off well and made an eagle on the first hole,” said Pepler, recalling the events of his final round. “As the round went on, I kind of went defensive a bit. Then on the second nine, I went back to my game plan. After hole 14, I started looking at the leaderboard so that I knew exactly what to do on the next hole and what tee shots to hit.”
Pepler, who was a shot adrift coming into the final round of this Play-Off event, was two-under on the front nine. After his eagle on one, he had two bogeys – on three and six – before birdies on the seventh and ninth graced his scorecard.
Coming home, Pepler made birdies on 12, 13 and 15 to seal a round 67 and manage to pip Waschefort to the title. His triumph in Centurion this week makes Pepler the only player to win two tournaments this season, having already claimed a famous win in Soweto earlier in the campaign.
“This one means a lot,” said Pepler of a victory that may well have secured him his Sunshine Tour privileges for next season. “After we played ERPM, my team and I worked hard on the golfing side of things as well as the mental side. Everything we worked on came together this week and that’s why this one is a bit more exciting.
“But the work is not done; we have The Final to go to and I am going to try and win that one as well. To finish top of the Order of Merit would be awesome because that’s what we play for; to win trophies and titles. So, I will still work hard on my game and my mental side so that I can be ready to compete in The Final. I’d like to win that one as well.”
With his win in the second-last event of the 2022/23 campaign, Pepler has assumed the top spot on the Order of Merit where the top 12 leading players after the season concludes will earn their way to the premier circuit, the Sunshine Tour.
Only the top 50 players in those standings were eligible to play in Centurion and now only the top 30 will be at the final event. The venue for The Final is yet to be announced but it is certain that it will be in Gauteng.
The Big Easy Tour was founded in 2011 with support from Ernie Els and counts current international star Christiaan Bezuidenhout among its former Order of Merit winners.