Sunshine Tour

Coetzee looks to simpler game for Tshwane success

2017-03-01 14:00
George Coetzee (Getty Images)

Pretoria - When George Coetzee won the 2015 Tshwane Open, a birdie and a par on the final two holes took him one shot clear of his nearest pursuer.

He's a much better golfer this time as he gets ready to tee off on Thursday on his home course at Pretoria Country Club.

Then he had seen Jacques Blaauw card a stunning nine-under-par 61 a couple of hours ahead of him, and he needed to chase that down.

Now, he has simplified his game from the collection of nervous tics that characterised the way he tried to keep control of his desire to be as good as he could be.

"I'm playing really well," he said ahead of the opening round of the tournament co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour.

"I'm ticking all the boxes I want to, working on the stuff I need to and not just everything, which was the problem the last couple of years. I spent the last year just trying to find out what I needed to do for my game and it’s starting to pay off.

"I spent years simplifying it and that wasn't fun. There's obviously a lot of questions that need to be asked and answered, and it was hard work to figure it out but I feel like I've kind of understood my game now. Obviously, golf is not a perfect game but working on the kind of stuff that I need to work on is very important."

Add this self-awareness to the fact that he has been a member of Pretoria Country Club for his whole golfing life, and it's apparent he'll be tough to beat this week.

"I'm really looking forward to playing here," he said. "Obviously, there are a lot of expectations when you are playing at your home club but as most of the guys know, this is probably one of the toughest places to win.

"But with the local crowd obviously coming out here to support me, I'm really looking forward to playing this week. The course is in unbelievable nick but I have got to keep the expectations low and just focus on the job at hand.

"Hopefully just trust my instincts. Having played here quite a lot, hopefully things should be on point. I hope to play some good golf and shoot some good numbers. There's a lot of stuff that can happen, so I'm just kind of accepting it and moving on.

"The rough is quite thick. The guys won't be complaining about the course but they will be losing a couple of balls in the rough, so there might be a few complaints here and if you hit the rough you will have to suffer the consequences. I think it should be a good challenge this week.

"It's going to be great. I'm really looking forward to it. It wouldn't be fun if it was going to be a walkover."

Read more on:    tshwane open  |  sunshine tour  |  george coetzee  |  golf


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