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19th September 2022 | Big Easy Tour

Frade breaks through with play-off victory at Modderfontein

Nicholaus Frade needed two playoff holes to see off the ever-green Ricky Hendler and claim a dramatic win in the Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day tournament held at Modderfontein Golf Club on Monday.

The two players were the only players to shoot under-par in windy conditions at Modderfontein, with their rounds of 71 setting up what turned out to be an exciting sudden-death playoff in the process. The par-five 10th was the first hole of sudden death and both players made birdies there. The second playoff hole was the 17th and with Hendler making a bogey there, Frade two-putted for par to claim a win he’s been chasing since the season started.

“I’ve been playing well during the course of the season and I think the main thing is always to give yourself chances,” Frade said after his dramatic win. “I gave myself a chance on the par-five and Ricky made a really good up-and-down and then on the second hole, I hit a really good shot and then two-putted and got the job done.

“The one-day events are hard to judge because you don’t know the scores but I think anything under-par; you always have a chance. I felt very calm today. I think because I have played with Ricky so many times, there was no pressure for me. It almost felt like a social round. I tried to play the par-fives solid today and tried to keep it tidy on the par-threes.”

Frade has been in contention a few times on the Altron Big Easy Tour this season, and to many observers, a win for him soon was almost inevitable.

“This win means a lot to me,” he added, “because any win boosts the confidence to say ‘I can do it’. But these Blue Label events also help a lot of the players financially. Personally, it’s a confidence thing for me, especially with fewer events left on the schedule. I would like to finish the season strong.

“I think I have had a good season but I just feel like I have always left shots out there in many events and this season feels like I have done a lot of rights than the wrongs. There are so many positives and I think this has been my best year in terms of consistency. I am happy with how I have played up to now.”

Hendler walked home with a runners-up finish on Monday while Gerard Moodley posted his best finish this season; a share of third. The member of the Papwa Sewgolum Transformation Class shot an even-par 72.

There are 10 tournaments in the series and all are being played in Gauteng. There are no entry fees required from the participating players, ensuring more playing opportunities. The Blue Label Development Tour events carry a R50 000 purse for each of the 10 one-day tournaments while expanding playing opportunities for players to sharpen their skills further.