Look­ing for fourth Eye of Africa win

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

Jaco van Zyl stands a chance to make his own his­tory by win­ning his fourth Eye of Africa PGA Cham­pi­onship.

The Sun­shine Tour event tees off at Eye of Africa Sig­na­ture Golf Es­tate at Eiken­hof, south­ern Jo­han­nes­burg, on Thurs­day.

Van Zyl took last year’s title on the first ex­tra hole of a play-off after fin­ish­ing reg­u­la­tion play level on 20un­der-par with Dean Burmester.

He will be look­ing to join Harold Hen­ning as the only player to have cap­tured the Cham­pi­onship on four oc­ca­sions since the con­test be­came a stroke play event in 1965. Stroke play in­volves count­ing the to­tal num­ber of strokes taken on each hole dur­ing a given round, or se­ries of rounds. Van Zyl also lifted the tro­phy in 2009 and 2013. Hen­ning, who has since re­tired from play­ing com­pet­i­tive golf, posted his vic­to­ries in 1965, 1966, 1967 and 1972.

“This event ranks among the big events on the South African golf­ing cal­en­der and win­ning it for the fourth time will be spe­cial for me,” said Van Zyl this week.

Van Zyl, who also com­petes on the Euro­pean Tour, is cur­rently in good form. This was proven when he fin­ished tied sec­ond with un­der-par 16 for a fi­nal round score of 68 in the Com­mer­cial Bank Qatar Mas­ters in Doha last Sun­day.

“My game has im­proved a lot since the be­gin­ning of the sea­son as I hit iron shots ac­cu­rately. I en­joy play­ing at Eiken­hof course be­cause of its nar­row fair­ways and this will help me win,” said Van Zyl.

There will be strong com­pe­ti­tion on the greens with lo­cal play­ers such as Burmester, Trevor Fisher Jr and Dar­ren Fichardt show­ing their met­tle.

Among top over­seas play­ers who have en­tered the event are Morten Ørum Mad­sen from Den­mark and English­man Ross McGowan.

PHOTO: ROSS KINNAIRD / GETTY IMAGES

LET FLY Jaco van Zyl is eye­ing a fourth Eye of Africa PGA Cham­pi­onship title

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