22nd April 2023 | Big Easy Tour
Williams claims Vusi Ngubeni win in dramatic fashion at Modderfontein
It took three playoff holes for Robin Williams to see off veteran Teboho Sefatsa and win the Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament at Modderfontein Golf Club on Friday.
Both players were tied at eight-under after regulation, thanks to Williams’ final round 69, while Sefatsa’s even par fourth round earned him a spot in that sudden-death playoff. On the first hole, Williams pulled his hybrid to the left of the fairway, with Sefatsa’s 3-wood off the tee also found the semi-rough on the left of the fairway.
Both players found the green with their respective second shots with Sefatsa leaving his birdie-putt short and settling for par while Williams responded with a par of his own. The same scenario unfolded in the second playoff hole as Williams’ tee shot once again landed the left of the 18th fairway, with his second shot leaving him with a 30-footer for birdie. Once more, both players made pars to force a third playoff hole.
The third hole of the play-off was even more dramatic as both players had tough lies on the left of the fairway and after finding the greens in some spectacular fashion, Sefatsa missed his par-putt while Williams boxed his to earn his playing privileges for a full Sunshine Tour season.
“I would have loved to birdie the first hole but I’ll take this win as it is,” said a visibly tired but elated Williams. “I’m just glad to get through the week. I thought I played solidly in the first round, but the second and third I kind of struggled, so I told myself that today I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it because that’s when I play my best golf”.
“Any Q-school is always a tough and stressful week because everybody is trying to get their cards for the next season but not everyone gets to get it, so I want to also congratulate the other guys who got their cards because they all deserve it. I hope we can push through and give a good account of ourselves on Tour.”
Williams opened the week with a round of 67 which he backed up with back-to-back rounds of 72 on Wednesday and Thursday before producing a final round of 69 which earned him a spot in the playoff. Having won a Blue Label Development Tour title in November last year, Williams was always keen to add to that and his triumph at Modderfontein Golf Club rubber-stamped that ambition.
Although he will be a rookie in the 2023/2024 season, the 22-year-old Peterborough Milton Golf Club player has already had a few starts on the Sunshine Tour this season, and will look forward to the next season with some excitement.
“This win means a lot to me because I have only had one full card on a Tour and that was on a smaller Tour in the United Kingdom. So, to get my full card here and be able to plan my season properly; without depending on invites, is really cool. It takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders and will allow me to play with some freedom,” Williams added.
After a long absence from professional competition, Sefatsa will be proud of his week’s work and the 2011 BMG Classic winner will be keen to get going in the 2023/2024 season of the Sunshine Tour.
The top 12 players and ties from the Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament earn their Sunshine Tour cards for the following season while the remaining players in the top 30 will get Altron Big Easy Tour cards.
The Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament is open to Transformation Players, who are male and over the age of 18 at the commencement of the tournament. Transformation players are defined as Blacks, Coloureds, Indians, and Chinese who arrived in South Africa before 1994.
Players who earned their Sunshine Tour cards:
Robin Williams, Teboho Sefatsa, Siyanda Mwandla, Alpheus Kelapile, Jastice Mashego, Karabo Mokoena, Tristin Gallant, Omar Sandys, Kayle Wykes, Lindani Ndwandwe, Toto Thimba Jnr, Makhetha Mazibuko and Keelan Africa.