Bu­jela eyes PGA Cham­pi­onship win

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Sun­shine Tour pro golfer Sipho Bu­jela says he is con­fi­dent about win­ning the Eye of Africa PGA Cham­pi­onship start­ing next Thurs­day be­cause he has re­gained his form.

The tour­na­ment tees off at the Eye of Africa Sig­na­ture Golf Es­tate in the south of Jo­han­nes­burg. It has a to­tal prize spon­sor­ship of R1.2 mil­lion and re­places the Telkom PGA Cham­pi­onship that was not staged last year af­ter the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant pulled out.

The 26-year-old Bu­jela, who won the PGA Soweto Cham­pi­onship at the Soweto Coun­try Club in Septem­ber by five shots, says he had been bat­tling with his swing since the year started.

“I have been strug­gling to find my rhythm on the golf course since the be­gin­ning of this year. My poor swing has been both­er­ing me,” said Bu­jela. “I’ve fixed my game and I’m ready to win the tro­phy.”

The Pimville player said he re­gained his con­fi­dence by work­ing on im­prov­ing his short game.

Bu­jela fin­ished third at the Vusi Ngubeni Qual­i­fy­ing School at the Mod­der­fontein Golf Club in De­cem­ber. That was his last no­table per­for­mance. He fin­ished 18th at the SA Open qual­i­fiers in Kemp­ton Park on Jan­uary 5. He missed the cut at the Joburg Open on Jan­uary 14, as well as at the Tsh­wane Open qual­i­fiers last Tues­day.

He said com­pe­ti­tion would be stiff at the tour­na­ment, with many top lo­cal play­ers com­pet­ing.

“I’ve been prac­tis­ing my putting, and us­ing my home course, the Soweto Coun­try Club, to per­fect my long-iron shots. I feel great.”

Other tour play­ers ex­pected to shine dur­ing the event in­clude South Africans Te­boho Se­fatsa and Omar Sandys, as well as English­man Neil Cheetham.

Sun­shine Tour com­mu­ni­ca­tions and mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Dun­can Cruik­shank said the win­ner would re­ceive R180 000. “The amount will in­crease as time goes,” he said.

Mean­while, the PGA of SA will stage a five-day World Club ProAm tour­na­ment fea­tur­ing in­ter­na­tional pro­fes­sion­als and am­a­teurs com­pet­ing in KwaZulu-Na­tal from Satur­day.

The event will of­fer a unique golf ex­trav­a­ganza across four cham­pi­onship cour­ses – the Dur­ban Coun­try Club, Zim­bali Coun­try Club, Prince Grant Golf Es­tate and Cotswold Downs Golf Es­tate.

Tekom Busi­ness PGA Cham­pi­onship

2014: Titch Moore (SA, 273, -15)

Telkom PGA Cham­pi­onship

2013: Jaco van Zyl (SA, 268, -20) 2012: Keith Horne (SA, 269, -19) 2011: Ge­orge Coetzee (SA, 261, -27) 2010: Michiel Bothma (SA, 268, -20) 2009: Jaco van Zyl (SA, 270, -18) 2008: Louis Oosthuizen (SA, 260, -28) 2007: Louis Oosthuizen (SA, 266, - 22) 2006: Gré­gory Bourdy (France, 267, -21) 2005: War­ren Abery (SA, 273, -15) 2004: War­rick Druian (SA, 267, -21)

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