22nd June 2017 | Big Easy Tour
Solid Hammond seals biggest win in The Roar
Daniel Hammond sealed his third victory on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour on Thursday when he shot five-under-par 67 to take his total to 14-under-par 202 and win the Big Easy The Roar by a single stroke at Waterkloof Golf Club.
He entered the round a stroke behind the leading Jeff Inglis who was on 10-under par, and four birdies on a flawless front nine were enough to calm him down. Through the back nine, all Hammond had to do was consolidate the lead he had taken and a birdie on 12 and an eagle on the par-five 14th helped to do exactly that.
â€œI played really, really solidly,â€ Hammond said after his win. â€œItâ€™s been a while, I have won twice before on the Big Easy Tour,â€ he said,Â â€œand to win this is a biggest of my career so far since I turned pro so Iâ€™m really chuffed with that. Hopefully I can build on this and take it to the main tour and show what I can do.â€
Hammond reiterated that a change of attitude towards the game has helped him a lot and he attributes the win to that shift. â€œSo, like I said in the week, itâ€™s just trying to have a positive outlook on everything,â€ he said.
That mental strength came to the party for him was evidenced by a chip-in on 17 and a great bunker shot on 18, because on any other day emotions could have taken over and ruined the moment for him.
Putting pressure on Hammond and eventually losing by a shot was Chilean Matias Calderon who signed for 13-under-par 203 to take second place. A shaky start saw the young Chilean drop a shot on the first hole but he swiftly recovered and made three birdies on the front nine. The homeward stretch was similar to the front for Calderon as he dropped another shot on 12 before three more birdies made their way into his scorecard.
Three shots behind the winner and in a share of third, Combrinck Smit and Danie van Niekerk finished on 11-under 205. The duo of Marco de Beer and Jake Redman shared fifth on 10-under while Matthew Spacey, Cyril Suk and JJ Senekal all finished on nine-under par and share seventh in Pretoria.
Members of the Gary Player Class of 2017-18 Toto Thimba Jr and Musiwalo Nethunzwi finished tied at eight-under par with Michael Palmer and Breyten Meyer in another srong performance by the members of that development programme.