Titch Moore was going through a slump. It was two years since he won on tour, and five missed cuts in seven starts this season were not a promising sign.
The 40-year-old turned his fortunes around with a runaway victory at the Investec Royal Swazi Open, where he totalled 60 points under the modified Stableford scoring format. Five points are awarded for an eagle and two for a birdie. None are awarded for par, while one point is deducted per bogey and three per double-bogey or worse.
Moore scored at least 10 points each day. He shot a final-round 64 to wrap up the tournament with 60 points in the bank, 15 more than the winning total from 2015, and claimed his 10th Sunshine Tour title.
‘I think we’ve played eight or nine events this year and this is only the second cut I’ve made. It’s been frustrating, but obviously with the second cut this year, to win, it’s unbelievable and winning here in Swazi is unbelievable,’ he said in his post-tournament interview.
Coming into the week Moore had played one weekend in 2016, at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, where he tied for 41st place.
The former SA Amateur champion won seven titles between 2000 and 2007, highlighted by a four-stroke victory over Louis Oosthuizen, James Kingston, and Steve Basson at the Coca-Cola Charity Championship in 2007.
For the next six seasons he battled to close out tournaments and took six runner-up results before finally lifting a trophy at the 2014 Telkom Business PGA Championship. It was a resurgent victory for Moore, who won again six months later at Sun Boardwalk Challenge in his home town of Port Elizabeth.
In 2015 he struggled to find a groove and missed 10 cuts during the season. He recorded a lone top-10 result at the Langebaan Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament, but it was a bleak year.
This month Moore proved he can still produce the goods with his emphatic victory in Swaziland. He finished the tournament 11 points clear of second-placed Adilson da Silva, himself a 12-time winner on the Sunshine Tour.
‘They always seem to be emotional victories,’ Moore said afterwards. ‘Not to win in two years and I’ve been going through a really bad slump, so to pull this one off today is great. To win the way I did was fantastic and hopefully I can carry on doing it for years to come.’
The Swaziland success put a 10th trophy in Moore’s cabinet and gave him a share of 22nd place on the list of players with the most Sunshine Tour wins, tied with Nick Price and three others.