Sunshine Tour

Coetzee vows to keep SA Open emotions in check

2018-12-04 20:28
George Coetzee
George Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Like every South African golfer in the field at Randpark Golf Club this week, George Coetzee is doing his best to manage his emotions and expectations ahead of the South African Open.

READ: Schwartzel hoping the hard work pays off in SA Open

The SA Open will, for the first time in its history, be a tri-sanctioned between the Sunshine Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour, and will retain the three qualifying spots for next year's Open at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

Randpark's two golf courses, Firethorn and Bushwillow, will play host to 240 golfers, who will compete for a minimum of R17.5 million in prize money.

Dating back to 1903, the SA Open is unique in many ways and is the second oldest national Open in the world, behind the Open Championship.

It is an event that many South Africans would like to win and Coetzee isn't oblivious to its status.

"It's a big event, obviously you try and approach every event as the same. You try not to make a big deal of it, you try but you don't always succeed," Coetzee told Sport24 in Mauritius while playing at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, which was sponsored by Mauritius Tourism.

"There's always a lot of expectation playing in your national Open. You got to dumb yourself down and try and play golf and not look too much into what you're playing for. Then afterwards if you got the trophy, you can really enjoy the moment."

READ: Aiken concerned over SA Open sponsor struggles

Coetzee, who finished T28 this past weekend at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, is looking forward to a rest after the SA Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship tournaments.

It's been a long season for Coetzee, who finished 69th on the European Tour's Race to Dubai standings for the 2017/18 season after playing 23 tournaments.

"I won't be touching another airplane in the next few weeks, I'm driving to Joburg and Leopard Creek. Then from Leopard Creek, I'm going to drive to George for holiday," joked Coetzee.

"I'm excited to be home and get some off time and have fun, Christmas is around the corner which is always nice."

The SA Open gets under way at Johannesburg's Randpark Golf Club from Thursday.


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