St Andrews - Thomas Aiken's 2019 European Tour and world ranking stats
going into the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship beginning in Scotland on
Thursday don't look that encouraging considering he is one of the best
professional golfers to come out of South Africa.
The 36-year-old, three-time European Tour winner from
Johannesburg and multiple champion back home is a lowly 142nd on the 2019 Race
to Dubai and has dropped to 384th in the world rankings?
So, why the slump?
Well, it's not his golf that has gone sour but things
happening off the course, circumstances out of his control, that have kept the
For one, it's been a difficult year at home with he and his wife
Katie looking after their two little ones, 23-month-old Lily and five-month-old
Sawyer - whose birth left Katie dangerously ill and hemorrhaging.
Then, early this month, Hurricane Dorian with its
devastating 320km/h winds - "Opening the Doors to Hell" as the
Wall Street Journal described it - hit the Great Abaco island in the Bahamas
where the Aikens have a home.
"Part of our roof was blown off and the
house was flooded but that's nothing compared to what other folk suffered on
the island," says Aiken.
"Many people lost absolutely everything and
by last count there were 53 known dead and of the island's 120 000 people, 1 500
are still missing and presumed dead.
"It's been unbelievably tragic and golf has been the
last thing on my mind. So I'm here at the Dunhill just trying to get some kind
of focus back on the game, but it hasn't been easy, and it isn't easy. All I can
do is try my best and see what happens."