Cape Town - He came fifth in the 2015 tournament, but after his good showing last week, Jean-Paul Strydom is hoping to do well in this week’s Cape Town Open which tees off on Thursday at King David Mowbray Golf Club.
He came second to Jaco Ahlers in the Dimension Data Pro-Am in the best finish in his Sunshine Tour career, with his final round of six-under-par 66 taking him to 17-under for the week, three strokes short of the winning total. And being a Western Cape man, Strydom feels confident ahead of the action this week.
“My form in George was a massive confidence booster, especially coming into Mowbray for the Cape Town Open - it’s kind of my home open,” he said. “I had a couple of good finishes at Mowbray as an amateur. I hope I can get it going again.”
Before last week’s tournament, Strydom was not feeling particularly good about his golf. “It was four good rounds at Dimension Data last week,” he said. “I wasn’t hitting the ball awfully well going into the week. I played with Shaun Norris and that helped me a bit and then things just clicked.
“I’ve been working hard for the last month or so. It just hasn’t really happened for me. I suppose the hard work eventually paid off. I was very consistent. I putted nicely, and all round, my game was very good.”
Strydom had a strong Western Province-based amateur career. That gives him some local knowledge.
“Mowbray’s not a very long course,” he said. “It’s kind of built for the wind. It’s a very tricky course. You have to manage things well off the tees and you have to keep it in play.
“I know they struggled with the greens in the past, but the course is looking amazing - the greens are really nice. I played yesterday and today. I also played it twice just before the Eye of Africa PGA Championship with Justin Harding and a couple of the boys - it’s looking good. You wouldn’t even say there’s a drought in Cape Town.
The tournament has been moved to King David Mowbray from Royal Cape as a result of the water situation in Cape Town. At Mowbray, the course is treated with effluent water. The other important measures taken by the Sunshine Tour include getting players to use showers sparingly, trucking in 700 cases of bottled water from Gauteng and using disposable plates, cutlery and cups for all catering areas to remove the need to wash dishes.
Strydom will be up against the in-form Ahlers, who won in Cape Town in 2014, as well as another former champion in Jake Roos, who won the inaugural event in 2012.
Strydom is looking to continue his string finish to the 2017-18 Sunshine Tour season. “After this, I’m off to the Tshwane Open and the Tour Championships, and I hope I can finish the year off strongly,” he said. “My strategy for the week? Keep it in play off the tee.”