Jan. 27, 2013
BEAUMONT - Former Lamar University golfer Oliver Bekker became the first Sunshine Tour champion of the 2013 season as he won the Telkom PGA Pro-Am by two strokes at Centurion Country Club in Tshwane, South Africa.
Not only did Bekker win for the third time on the Sunshine Tour, but fellow Lamar golf star M.J. Daffue tied for fourth place in his first career event on the tour. Just one week after earning his tour card at Qualifying School, Daffue was able to earn a spot in the tournament by shooting a 66 in pre-qualifying.
Bekker, who was the 2006 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year while at Lamar, shot three straight rounds in the 60s to win the 54-hole event by two strokes. The 28-year-old finished 10th on the 2012 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit and played in the PGA Tour's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last August.
"I couldn't have asked for anything better than this. It's the first time I'm starting out a year with a win, so it's an awesome feeling and I'm very happy at the moment," said Bekker following his final round 66 for a 20-under par total of 196. "I played a solid round of golf today. It was probably my best ball-striking of the week, and under the pressure I'd say I did very well for myself."
Daffue, who like Bekker was a two-time All-Southland Conference First-Team selection, shot a final round 65 to move from a tie for 14th to a tie for fourth. The 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year carded two eagles in his final round to record his ninth straight competitive round under par.
"I'm very grateful, because I just got out of QSchool," said Daffue after his final round. "I just tried to play my best and so far it's been good. Nine competitive rounds under par, so I'm not complaining."