Rookie Easton wins Sunshine Big Easy Tour debut

It's as if the Sunshine Big Easy Tour was created just for Bryce Easton.

The developmental tour, named after Ernie Els, was created to help more professionals in South Africa gain competitive experience and sharpen their skills.

In its debut event, the Big Easy Tour fulfilled its mission by giving Easton an arena to test his mettle, and more importantly, a dose of confidence that only comes from a hard-earned victory. He overcame two bogeys and a double bogey on his closing nine March 25 to win by one stroke at Crown Mines Golf Club.

The 23-year-old-rookie had moved to five under through nine holes in the second round of the 36-hole event, then promptly dropped a shot on the 10th. He made a birdie on 12, but then followed up with a bogey on 13 and a double on 14.

“Things were definitely wobbling,” Easton said.

But Easton rallied with three birdies in his closing four holes to card a final round 68 and pull ahead of Thabang Simon. Easton, who has made only one cut thus far on the Sunshine Tour this year, earned himself a check for R14,000.

“It’s really wonderful for players like myself who have been struggling on the main tour to be able to get tournaments where we have a chance to develop our games enough that we can actually win,” Easton said.

There were eight players in a share of third place at two under, three strokes off the pace; four players tied for 11th place at one under.

Easton clearly learned some valuable lessons.

“I have been kind of going to sleep during my rounds lately, just like I did on 13 and 14,” he said. “I was able to pull myself together and finish off, even though I was not sure that five-under was going to be enough – I thought six-under would win it,” he added.

Now he goes into the second event of the 10-tournament Big Easy Tour with a professional victory under his belt.

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