The first leg of the Big Easy Tour will head for Houghton Golf Club and Petersen, who represents Team Kenako, faces Order of Merit winner Louis Calitz and last year’s Houghton winner - Callie Swart.
Petersen’s victory at Observatory Golf Club was a trial by fire – his first-round 71 left him seven strokes shy of Ockie Strydom, who penciled three eagles during his 64 blows and sailed clear of the field. On day two Strydom slipped from the get-go and dropped at the second, fourth and sixth, which left an opening for Petersen. The 23-year-old cruised to three-under through five holes after an eagle at the second got him going.
A drop at the sixth, where Petersen had double-bogeyed the day before, did not unsettle the youngster and he birdied the ninth, recovering the lost shot. Meanwhile Strydom had begun to string his round back together and followed birdie at the seventh with an eagle at the ninth to turn at level-par and retake his lead.
But Petersen was on the move and birdied the 13th before he made the second eagle of his round at the 14th. He birdied the 18th for a cherry on top. Strydom buckled under the pressure and dropped at the 13th, 15th and 17th, eventually signing for 75.
The grit Petersen revealed two truths about the youngster – he has the talent to shoot low and the nerve to do it when it counts.
As the Big Easy Tour gets underway, keep your eye on Derick Petersen – he will be hunting a win early in the year, only this time he has experience on his side.