Sunshine Tour

Williams cruises to maiden win

2016-11-05 16:00
Mark Williams (Gallo)

St Francis Bay - He called a penalty shot on himself at the tournament at St Francis Links last year, and lost by one, but Mark Williams turned that all around on Saturday as he cruised to a two-stroke victory in the R750 000 Vodacom Origins of Golf Final played there.

Although he closed with a double-bogey six this time around, after hitting his tee shot into the water on 18, he had built up a four-stroke cushion over runner-up Christiaan Bezuidenhout heading up the final fairway, and he drank in the pleasure of winning his maiden Sunshine Tour title after 14 years on the circuit. He carded a two-under 70 for an 11-under-par total of 205.

“That two-iron worked for 53 holes, so I can’t blame it for one shot,” said Williams. “And I think I missed just one green after making bogey on the second, so everything was under control, really.”

Last year’s penalty shot came when his ball moved on the second fairway, and it cost him a chance of contesting a play-off with the eventual winner Christiaan Basson. “It’s great to come back here and to win my first title,” said Williams.

That near miss was one of many over the last two years for the big Zimbabwean, and the victory has underlined the skills of a man who has looked a potential champion for a long time now.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he admitted. “It’s nice to finally get it under the belt. The belief has been there for the last 18 months. I’ll take the win, even with the shaky finish.”

It wasn’t that confident a start, either: He bogeyed the second, but he quickly made up for that with a chip-in eagle three on the third. But after that, he settled into his work, and birdies on six, eight and 14 eased him clear of Bezuidenhout, who played solidly throughout, but was unable to produce any sustained pressure on Williams.

Keith Horne, Madalitso Muthiya of Zambia and Jacques Blaauw shared third place at six-under-par 210, with Nigerian Andrew Odoh on five-under in sixth place.

For Williams, the victory was about opening doors in the future, rather than getting a monkey off his back. “Getting into the winner’s category on the Sunshine Tour makes a big difference in terms of tournaments I can get into,” he said, “And I hope I can be in there more often now.”

Scores:

205 - Mark Williams 68 67 70

207 - Christiaan Bezuidenhout 70 67 70

210 - Keith Horne 71 71 68, Madalitso Muthiya 69 71 70, Jacques Blaauw 70 70 70

211 - Andrew Odoh 71 72 68

212 - Andrew Georgiou 75 70 67, Anthony Michael 69 72 71

213 - Doug McGuigan 71 72 70, Ryan Cairns 72 70 71

214 - Tyrone Ferreira 68 76 70, Lyle Rowe 72 72 70

215 - Titch Moore 71 76 68, Andrew Curlewis 74 70 71, Jonathan Agren 71 72 72, Justin Harding 68 72 75, Ruan de Smidt 74 66 75

216 - Vaughn Groenewald 72 75 69, Breyten Meyer 75 70 71, Christiaan Basson 71 74 71, Ockie Strydom 70 73 73, Morne Buys 71 72 73, Heinrich Bruiners 73 69 74, Stephen Ferreira 70 71 75, Colin Nel 69 72 75, Wallie Coetsee 71 68 77

217 - Theunis Spangenberg 68 78 71, Jake Redman 72 73 72

218 - Daniel Greene 75 73 70, Steven Ferreira 81 67 70, Peter Karmis 76 72 70, James Kamte 74 74 70

219 - Gert Myburgh 70 78 71, Neil Schietekat 74 73 72, Francois van Vuuren 72 72 75, Drikus Bruyns 67 75 77

220 - Thanda Mavundla 75 73 72, Jason Diab 80 67 73, Pieter Kruger 74 72 74, Makhetha Mazibuko 74 69 77

221 - PH McIntyre 77 68 76, Teaghan Gauche 69 74 78

222 - Le Roux Ferreira 76 72 74, Zander Lombard 74 73 75

223 - MJ Viljoen 76 71 76

224 - Ruan Pretorius 74 74 76

Read more on:    vodacom origins of golf  |  golf
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