The Big Easy Tour aims to give tomorrow’s stars the chance to develop their game and Maritz Wessels felt ready to compete anywhere after he won the Tour Championship title at The Els Club, Copperleaf on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old began the final round two shots off the lead and had to stay patient. His ball striking was the key to victory and he made just one bogey on his way to a four-under-par total and a one-shot victory over Roberto Lupini and Juan Langeveld.
“I hit it quite close on the first couple of holes and never made anything,” said Wessels. “Luckily no one ran away with it. It was quite a grind to the finish and a great feeling in the end,” he said.
It was a mature performance from the Pretoria local, who was one of eight players to break par during the final round. He carded 71 on his way to the winner’s cheque of R32,680.
“To do it out there makes me feel ready for the rest of the year. I’ve got to compliment my caddie, Dean Aldrich, because he really kept me in the moment through this entire week,” he said.
His earnings this week also secured him the Order of Merit and he’ll play the remainder of the 2014 season with that accolade under his belt.
“It was very tough out there and difficult to keep the emotions in. Mentally it was very draining. I just focused on my own game and right now it’s an unbelievable feeling and still a little bit unreal to hold both trophies,” he said.
The low round of the day was scored by Kevin Stone, who made three birdies on the stretch for a closing 69 and a sole-fifth finish.
Langeveld began the day two shots ahead and struggled on the front nine where he turned in 38, which let the opposition catch up. He fought back with birdies at the 13th and 15th, but an untimely three-putt at the last let Wessels take top honours.
Lupini took a good crack at the title and was four-under-par for the day and leading by the time he got to the 10th hole. He eliminated the lead with a double bogey at the 17th and lipped out for birdie at the 18th, which meant he shared second place.