Johannesburg - It’s been 11 years since the Sunshine Tour visited Royal Cape Golf Club and, for Hennie Otto, it will be a trip down memory lane when he tees it up in the inaugural Lion of Africa Cape Town Open on Thursday.
“We used to play the Tour Champs here, and it’s good to come back to a nice, old course. It’s going to be a good week, having a tournament back in Cape Town," Otto said.
"I think the people here are passionate about golf, so it’s going to be nice to see a lot of people here on the weekend.”
Otto was defending champion at last week’s SA Open, where he broke into the record books with a final-round 62 at Serengeti Golf Estate. Not only was it a course record but it also equalled the lowest score ever recorded at an SA Open.
“It’s always nice to shoot low scores on the final day, like last week," he said.
"It gives you more confidence going into new tournaments. It felt like I won last week, the way I played on Sunday.”
With 12 wins on the Sunshine Tour, Otto knew what to expect from the course this week.
“They’ve lengthened a few tees and it’s in good shape this year. If the wind’s not going to blow, it’s going to be low,” Otto said.
More than a decade later Martin Maritz, Alan McLean, Bradford Vaughan, Omar Sandys and Darren Fichardt, to name a few, would be back in action.
James Kingston, who last played at Royal Cape at the 2001 Players Championship, spoke wistfully of his return to the Mother City.
“All the old faces are here and it’s so nice to play an event in the Cape again. It’s sad that we don’t get to pay here more often," Kingston said.
"To come back to one of the oldest courses in Cape Town, an old-style golf course that has hosted so many tournaments in the past, it’s nice to come back and enjoy that again.”