Titch Moore took a commanding four point lead into the final round of the Investec Royal Swazi Open, and his hopeful challengers were left in the dust thanks to a final round 18 point eight-under-par 64.
Try as they might, but the chasing pack simply couldn’t keep up with the much loved Sunshine Tour veteran. ‘I got off to a nice start with a birdie on the first and a birdie on four and then hit a good shot on five but got really lucky and made eagle. I mean the guys were asking me how many points I had and I didn’t have a clue. I thought I had like 12 or 14 points, and I looked and it was 18. It’s amazing when things go your way how quickly they add up,’ he explained.
There was a hum about the first tee as the leaders went off thanks to the dramatic change in conditions, with winds picking up red dust and leaves whipping across the fairways. However, Moore mastered the tricky winds and extended his lead over Da Silva to 12 points at the turn. ‘I was hoping for lightning to be honest,’ he said jokingly. ‘Obviously when I saw that wind come in I thought it was going to be a tough afternoon and I think if I got it to 50 points with those conditions it would have been enough,’ he added.
Moore was simply too good for the field, finishing on a brilliant 60 point total, 15 points better than last year’s total which was set by PH McIntyre.
A tie 41st finish at the Dimension Data Po-Am was Moore’s best performance of the year, with missed cuts coming at his six other starts on tour. ‘I think we’ve played eight or nine events this year and this is only the second cut I’ve made. It hasn’t been that far off if that makes sense, and 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.
Moore now has 10 Sunshine Tour wins to his name, and at 40 years-old, he isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. ‘Yeah they always seem to be emotional victories but, not to win in two years and as I say 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,’ he said.
On the eve of Mother’s Day, Moore paid a tribute to his mother who sadly passed away two years ago, and offered his thoughts to fellow professional and great friend Wallie Coetsee, whose father is ill back home in South Africa. ‘As I say, to win this is emotional, for Wallie’s old man and my dad back home, it’s emotional,’ he said.
60 – Titch Moore (RSA) 10 16 16 18
49 – Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 7 14 15 13
42 – Rourke van der Spuy (RSA) 4 10 15 13
40 – Daniel Greene (RSA) 16 10 6 8
39 – Ruan de Smidt (RSA) 13 14 5 7