Cape Town - While JJ Senekal missed the cut at last year’s Zimbabwe Open, he admits that last week’s win at the Zanaco Masters has injected a lot of confidence in him and that he’s looking forward to putting that to work this week when the Zimbabwe Open tees off on Thursday at Royal Harare Golf Club.
At the corresponding event last year, it was JC Ritchie and Trevor Fisher Jr who stole the show, with Ritchie needing a playoff hole to claim his first win on the Sunshine Tour.
Senekal shot a total of 150 that week and was not around for the weekend.
This week, however, he returns on the back of a solid performance which required grit and patience and says that’s exactly what’s needed if he is to play well in Harare.
“The confidence is high,” he admitted. "But this course is tricky, the greens are a bit quick. Here, you’ve got to knuckle down and keep the focus up. Normally on easier golf courses you tend to lose focus a bit but on tougher golf courses like this one, you have to tune up your focus and stick to your game plan.”
Having claimed both of his Sunshine Tour victories via a sudden-death play-off, Senekal knows just how long a week it can turn out to be when the field is as strong as the field assembled here this week. And, with the course as tough as many have said this Royal Harare layout can be, a few aspects of any player’s game have to be in top condition.
His immediate assessment is that mental strength will play a big role in deciding who walks away with a win at this R2 million event.
“Mental strength,” he said, “I think one has to be strong mentally here because it will not be easy at all.
“You are going to have to hit it straight off the tee here,” he said of what he thought of what part of his game has to be in top shape here. “The greens are pretty big. Your iron play might not be that great but off the tee you have to be solid, and of course, you will need to putt very well. But, I think the fittest players will do well here.”