Brilliant Big Easy triumph for Beckley

North West amateur Aubrey Beckley claimed the Big Easy – Irene by one-stroke from Makhetha Mazibuko after a flawless final round six-under-par 66 at Irene Country Club on Tuesday.

Beckley’s victory marks a second time this season that an amateur has won on the Sunshine Tour’s development circuit after fellow HPC Tuks Golf Academy player Dylan Naidoo claimed the opening event on this year’s schedule.

Beckley carded an opening 67 to grab a share of the four-way lead alongside Pieter Moolman, Teboho Sefatsa and Mazibuko and had to fight the emotions that come with leading a professional event.

“I must say coming into the week I wasn’t expecting that,” said the 22-year-old from Potchefstroom.

“I’m really pleased and I just want to say thank you to everybody and to the Big Easy Tour for giving me the opportunity. I must be honest, I said to my girlfriend who was caddying for me, I said to her a couple of times, check my hand it’s shaking.

“The emotions were there and the stress was there, but I think it was good emotions and good stress. I prefer it that way, compared to feeling comfortable. It was fun and I really enjoyed it out there.”

Beckley said he took away an invaluable lessons from golfing with Sunshine Tour, Big Easy Tour and IGT Tour campaigners for two days.

“To be bogey-free today was really important,” said the Golf RSA National Squad member.

“It was one of my goals, trying to keep the blue ones off the card today. It’s a big difference playing in the final round of a professional event. Like I said, the emotions were up there today compared to the amateur golf. My plans are to join the guys that are here next year, so it was nice to see what it’s all about and I really enjoyed it.”

As for more immediate plans, Beckley has his sights set on teeing it up at the prestigious South African Open Championship, an event co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour and European Tour.

“For now, it’s a big target for me to get into the SA Open as an amateur,” he said.

“For that I think I have to be in the top three or four in the amateur rankings. So that’s a goal of mine closer to the end of the year, but we’ll see what happens.”

While Mazibuko earned his second runner-up finish in as many weeks, Jaco Mouton finished in third place on nine-under-par in front of Toto Thimba and Jaco Prinsloo who finished on eight-under-par for the tournament.

133 – Aubrey Beckley (AMA) (RSA) 67 66
134 – Makhetha Mazibuko (RSA) 67 67
135 – Jaco Mouton (RSA) 70 65
136 – Toto Thimba (Jnr) 69 67, Jaco Prinsloo (RSA) 72 64
137 – Desne Van Den Bergh (RSA) 71 66
138 – Brett Liddle (RSA) 70 68, Russel Franz (RSA) 69 69, Eddie Taylor (RSA) 72 66
139 – Bradford Vaughan (RSA) 72 67, Pieter Kruger (RSA) 68 71
140 – Antonio Rosado (POR) 71 69, Gideon Pienaar (RSA) 70 70, Bryce McCabe (RSA) 68 72, Jason Froneman (RSA) 72 68, Teboho Sefatsa (RSA) 67 73, Teaghan Gauche (RSA) 72 68

Original copy and quotes courtesy of Vincent Schaffler, Press Officer – Sunshine Tour.
Edited for the South African Golf Association.

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