11th November 2022 | Big Easy Tour
Williams claims maiden pro title on ‘home soil’
South African-born British golfer, Robin Williams, carded a four-under 66 to win the Blue Label Development Tour’s One Day tournament at Killarney Country Club on Monday, crowning his return to South Africa with his maiden Sunshine Tour victory.
Born in Stellenbosch, Williams moved to Europe when he was just eight years old and after an impressive amateur career in the United Kingdom, Williams turned pro and has now returned to the land of his birth.
“It feels good to win in South Africa for the first time in my career,” said Williams, whose middle name is Tiger (after the great Tiger Woods). “I played the PGA Championship last week on the Sunshine Tour and coming into this week, I knew my game was trending in the right direction. Today I just did what I needed to do and took advantage of the par-fives and I’m grateful to win.”
Williams teed off from the 10th at Killarney and made five straight pars as he sought to familiarise himself with a course where he’d only played the front nine holes before. Those pars were followed by a birdie on the par-five 15th, his sixth hole of the day. A par on 16 preceded a much-needed birdie on 17 before he closed off that nine with another par.
Coming home, Williams made two pars and another birdie to go three-under through 12. An eagle on the par-five fifth took his score to five-under with four holes to play but a drop on the last hole took from those gains, leaving him at four-under-par and earning him a one-stroke victory over the duo of Zabastian de Jager and Luke Trocado.
“I played only the front nine of this course on Sunday and couldn’t play the back nine because I think the members here had a tournament of sorts,” he revealed. “I played the back nine blind today but thanks to Thabo, my caddie, because he knows the course very well. He knows this course and I know he won here a few years ago so he was really helpful.
“This course is not easy and I think knowing which holes you can attack and which holes you can’t attack helps a lot. There were some tricky flags out there but I told myself that on those flags I won’t even look at them; just go for par because there will be a lot of guys who are going to go for the flag and make a mistake but Thabo helped a lot today in managing the course and putting the ball in the right places.”
Tough as the course was, Williams was not going to be fazed easily and having had a solid foundation through his glittering amateur career abroad, he was always prepared for the challenges that lay ahead at Killarney.
“My short game was very solid,” he noted, “There were a few moments, especially on the back nine, where I put myself in trouble but I managed to either chip it close or up-and-down from the bunker and that kept the round going. But I am glad I managed to pull through and win.”
Following his win, Williams will have a lot to look forward to in the new season and hope to build from this result. Before then, he will hope to secure a spot in the upcoming co-sanctioned events, starting at Joburg Open on November 24.
The Killarney tournament was the 10th and last one for the current campaign. The Blue Label Development Tour events carried a R50 000 purse for each of the 10 one-day tournaments while expanding playing opportunities for players to sharpen their skills further.