It took six play-off holes, but eventually amateur Marco Steyn took the Big Easy Tour event at Modderfontein Golf Club with a birdie on the 10th.
He edged out Etienne Bond, who had bogeyed 17 in regulation play to open the door for Modderfontein local Steyn. The pair had finished on seven-under-par 137 before they headed down 18 twice, then up 10, onto 17 and then 18 a third time, before Steyn took advantage of a wayward approach by Bond on 10 to make birdie and win.
“I was tense during regulation when I saw I was only one back with three to play,” said Steyn. “Obviously nerves kicked in a bit but that’s why we play – to be in contention and to deal with the nerves.
“I finished quite nicely and luckily for me, Etienne dropped on 17 and I got into the play-off. After a very long six holes, I’m so glad to get the job done.
“In a play-off, you simply have to try and win each hole. You’ve got to be aggressive – to a point – without getting yourself into trouble. So I just stuck to my normal game plan, and I know this course very well. I know where to hit it and where not to hit it. There are a few tricky putts out here and just keeping the ball in the easier areas helped a lot.”
It wasn’t an easy putt that eventually assured him of the title, however. He hit the ball 15 feet past the flag just off the green on the par-five 10th, leaving himself a downhill push towards the hole that eventually settled just a foot away.
With Bind in trouble to the left of the green with his approach, and his third ending up in a greenside bunker, even a delicate sand shot to a offt was only going to be enough for par, giving Steyn the victory.
It was Steyn’s second attempt at a Big Easy Tour tournament. He finished in a share of 23rd two years ago at Glendower Golf Club, so the win was a sign of serious progress for him. “It feels great to win against pros,” he said. “I know I’m not the first amateur to win a Big Easy tournament, and it’s great to follow in the footsteps of a few of my friends, and I hope I can keep on doing that later on in my career.”
In third place, two strokes behind Steyn and Bond, was Bennie van der Merwe, with Bryce McCabe, Bryandrew Roelofsz and Antonio Rosado sharing fourth another shot back on four-under for the tournament.