2011 Big Easy Tour Modderfontein champion Morne Buys shot two 65s on his way to a share of 21st at the Telkom PGA Championship, joining a host of former Big Easy Tour players atop the scoreboard.
“It’s the first time I’ve made the cut at Telkom, even though it’s my fourth year. Any win will always give you confidence, and that’s what I took from my victory. What the Big Easy Tour does for our confidence is hard to describe, but it’s a really good thing,” he said.
While Buys tore up the Woodmead course at Country Club Johannesburg, he did it alongside fellow Big Easy players such as Bryce Easton, Dean Burmester and Albert Pistorius, who all finished in the top 25.
“Good players are coming through now - guys like me and Dean (Burmester), who battled to break through – we’re getting there now. The (Big Easy) Tour is a really good thing,” said Buys.
The 33-year-old struggled when he found the water hazard on 17, but navigated the slip with confidence and went on to claim his share of 21st. His nerve over the stretch stood testimony to his the mental growth in his game. “It was a bit disappointing when I hit the ball in the water on 17, but it wasn’t like last week at Di-Data. This is my second time in contention – and it’s getting better,” he said.
Big Easy Crown Mines winner Bryce Easton, who took a share of 20th at the Alfred Dunhill Championship last year, led the Big Easy charge at Telkom and finished in a share of eighth at 14-under-par.
One stroke back from him was Big Easy Glendower winner Albert Pistorius. He has made a sparkling comeback into professional golf, all thanks to his win. After his win at Glendower he said: “I had given up on professional golf, but after a long break I decided to give it one more go. This win has shown me that I can do this, I can really make something of this.” On Sunday he finished tied 11th at seven-under.
And yet another Big Easy success story was found in Dean Burmester, who took three second-places finished on the Tour last year, but struggled to crack the main stage. He closed the Telkom PGA Championship at 12-under-par and claimed a share of 13th.
Through the Big Easy Tour Buys has found the mental strength needed to succeed, and on Sunday he not only took a share of 21st, but shared it with Jbe Kruger, the most recent European Tour winner. The distance he has come since last year’s win was tough for him to explain, all he could add was: “I enjoyed playing with such good golfers. I don’t know what to say, except that this whole week was really great.”