1st January 2014 | Sunshine Tour
Double-happy DiData win for Goya
“The first time I saw the leaderboard was at the 18th green. I knew I had to hit a good shot and make a birdie. That was the only time I realised I had a chance to win, because I hadn’t seen the leaderboard. I was happy to have a chance and happy to take it, so double happy,” he said.
The 25-year-old got off to a rocky start and turned one-over-par, but the back nine on Sunday is what counts. Goya proved the point as he sank his birdie putt at the 18th and set the clubhouse lead on 14-under, a total that overnight leader Adilson Da Silva was unable to match.
“I wanted to start quickly and get a boost,” said Goya. “I started a bit slow and had some bogeys, so I was one-over after nine. I decided to give everything on the back nine and made five birdies, which was really good.”
The 2009 Madeira Islands Open winner does not have full exemption on the European Tour and his victory at the Dimension Data Pro-Am carries more rewards than just a cheque. He makes it into next week’s Tshwane Open and picks up an invitation to the prestigious World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational in July.
“It’s my goal to one day play Word Golf Championship events and the majors. Getting into the WGC-Bridgestone as my first one will be a great experience and I am very happy to about the opportunity. I’ve never played at Firestone Country Club and now I can’t wait to get there,” he said.
Sunday at Fancourt was an unpredictable affair and the lead was jam-packed at 13-under for most of the afternoon. Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard carded 66, the low round of the day, to set the clubhouse target at 13-under early in the day. He was soon joined by Keith Horne, who birdied the 18th to tie for the top spot.
Goya was the next player to head down 18, where he played a superb approach from 120 metres to 10 feet. Boxing the putt meant a benchmark of 275 shots had been set.
Jean Hugo failed to get going on the back nine and finished with eight consecutive pars. The 14-time Sunshine Tour winner laid up at the 18th and played his approach to 15 feet, but he missed the putt for birdie joined the tie for second.
That meant it came down to an all-South American affair as Brazilian Adilson Da Silva had one last chance to make birdie at 18 and force a playoff with Goya.
Da Silva was visibly disappointed when his approach at 18 stopped 22 feet from the cup. He missed the putt by an inch right and became the fourth played tied for second. The day was Goya’s.
“I had a great week overall,” the Argentine said. “It’s nice to win again, and now I’m going straight to the Tshwane Open, so everything is good. Hopefully I can win again this year.”