By Matthews Mfubu (Fullpage Media and Communications
Andrew Williamson produced yet another fine round of golf on Thursday when he carded a four-under-par 68 in the final round of the Altron Big Easy Tour to claim his first professional win on 13-under-par 203 at Blue Valley Golf Estate.
That total handed him a three-shot victory over Zambia’s Dayne Moore and LB Boshoff.
The Irene Golf Club member brought a one-stroke lead into the final round and needed a strong start in the final round to keep his momentum. Three birdies in the first five holes provided Williamson with a strong enough start and after making pars on the sixth and seventh, he found more joy as he birdied the par-three eighth.
Just before the turn, however, Williamson made his third bogey of what was a strong three days for the 28-year-old from Irene. In a similar fashion, as he has done all week, Williamson bounced back with a birdie after that drop. Those gains were made on the par-four 11th. From there on, Williamson kept things cool while managing tricky situations with the mastery of a seasoned professional.
“It’s difficult to put it into words right now,” said an emotional Williamson of how he felt about his maiden tour victory. “Golf is a funny game; I haven’t played much tournament golf in the last few months, apart from the odd Big Easy here or there. I’ve been really busy with work, and just getting out on the golf course has been a struggle in the last few months.
“My goal for the week was just to enjoy the game because, with the way my golf has been going the last few years, it’s easy to dig yourself into a rut and not appreciate the small victories. One of those is just enjoying the game for what it is and this week, I did that. The results took care of themselves. So, sometimes less is more.”
By his own admission, Williamson’s win in Centurion was by no means an easy feat. He had to ward off challenges from some of the most in-form players on the circuit right now. Among those was Moore, whose final-round 63 catapulted him to a share of second with Boshoff on 10-under for the week.
Boshoff made five bogeys on his way to a final round 70 and will feel that had he been able to mitigate against those, he would have had a real shot at the title this week. Williamson, however, presented a cool figure who seemed to have had most situations under control, despite the piling pressure.
“Winning is so hard because professional golf in South Africa is so strong,” added Williamson. “There are some tremendous players on the Big Easy Tour and when I looked at the leaderboard last night, I saw guys that are playing some good golf and I knew they were coming. The guys are playing good golf and I knew they were not going to leave shots out there and that they would pile all the pressure.
“I think the Big Easy Tour doesn’t get enough credit for how strong a tour it is to play on. There are a lot of Sunshine Tour players on any given week and the fields are always strong. So, to have started the way I did today, it settled me down a bit. The nerves kicked in a bit more on the back nine but I think I handled them well. To stay composed and handle the nerves the way I did was gratifying for me.
“For me, it’s really cool to hold my own against such a strong field. It’s a huge confidence booster because this game can really get you down at times. So, when you do prove to yourself that you are capable of doing some really cool things, it’s just a wave I’d like to ride for as long as possible and use it motivation to just keep working harder.”
The Blue Valley Golf Estate event was the sixth of 10 Altron Big Easy Tournaments for the season. The next tournament will be held at Kyalami Golf Club in early December.