Chris Williams gave himself the perfect preparation for the upcoming US Senior PGA Championship at the end of May when he won the Nelson Mandela Bay Classic by a single stroke on the Sunshine Senior Tour at Humewood Golf Club on Thursday.
Williams closed with a round of 69 to win on three-under-par 213. He finished one stroke clear of Neil Cheetham who signed for a final round of 71. AndrÃ© Cruse, who battled Williams for the lead on the back nine, finished third on one-under 215 after a 71.
The timing of the victory couldnâ€™t have been better for Williams. At the end of this month both he and James Kingston will travel to Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to play in the US Senior PGA Championship.
â€œItâ€™s nice to have won like this just before you leave for a Major like that,â€ said Williams, who recently finished second to Kingston in the South African Senior Open.
â€œI won a small senior event at the beginning of the year. But this is my first big one since winning the South African Senior Open a couple of years ago. I havenâ€™t hit the ball as well as I did for a long time. Iâ€™ve put new shafts in my irons and I was knocking the flagsticks out. And it was also great to beat such a quality field,â€ he said of a field that included several former Sunshine Tour campaigners who have recently joined the Sunshine Senior Tour ranks.
â€œWeâ€™ve got a lot of former Sunshine Tour players on the Sunshine Senior Tour now and the standard is very high. Then you look at the quality of golfers who are just about to become seniors, like a Keith Horne and an Adilson da Silva, and you realise weâ€™re going to have a very competitive Sunshine Senior Tour in the future with so many star players coming through.â€ – Michael Vlismas
Photo: Michael Sheehan