“SOMETIMES I WONDER HOW MY CAREER MIGHT HAVE PLAYED OUT IF IT WEREN’T FOR TWO HUGE STROKES OF FORTUNE…”
a nice hotel and frequent good restaurants. Last summer we were holidaying in Stilbaai in the Southern Cape and I realised the Titans were playing in the Momentum One Day Cup final at Newlands.We drove for over three hours to Cape Town, I phoned Mark Boucher for some tickets, and afterwards I was invited into the changing room for the victory celebrations. Albie Morkel and I are good friends (we both live on the Silver Lakes estate in Pretoria) and that night was extremely memorable!
AS A LIFE-LONG Liverpool fan I’m tremendously excited about our new manager Jurgen Klopp. ‘My hart KLOP vir hom!’ (My heart beats for him). I remember watching a football match on TV with my sister when I was young. She chose the blue team, so I had the reds. I liked that Liverpool were the underdogs and I was mesmerised by Robbie Fowler’s skills. If Klopp continues to inspire, I will have to go to more games. I’ll even plan my tournament schedule accordingly.
I WAS PLAYING in the 2005 British Amateur at Royal Birkdale so was in Liverpool the night of the Champions League final against AC Milan in Istanbul.We were 3-0 down at halftime and I was so depressed I decided to have a drink. I don’t even like whisky but they didn’t have brandy. I vowed never to drink during a tournament again if something special could happen. A penalty shootout and Liverpool’s fifth European Cup happened!
HOW GOOD CAN I BE? I’m excited at how much I am still learning in this game. Everything I am learning now is going to benefit me later in my career. I don’t play professional golf just to maintain a spot within the top 100 in the world – I want to win tournaments, I’m not going to limit my ambitions. History shows that exceptionally young players who are world-beaters are not that common. Tiger, McIlroy, and now Spieth are a rare breed. Players peak at different times. Look how long it took Justin Rose to reach his potential and win a major. I’m only turning 30 in 2016.
EVERRYTHING IS GEARED for my return to tournament golf in the second week of January at the SA Open at Glendower. My festive season will revolve around making sure I’m fit and sharp to compete – and contend – in my national open. PRO VICTORIES 2015 Tshwane Open; AfrAsia Mauritius Open 2014 Joburg Open 2011 Telkom PGA Championship 2008 Vodacom Origins Humewood; SAA Pro-Am Invitational 2007 Vodacom Origins Selborne BEST MAJOR FINISH T-7 at 2015 PGA Championship 2015 SUNSHINE TOUR Won the Order of Merit with R5 470 684 from 7 events, highlighted with European Tour co-sanctioned victories at the Tshwane Open (R2.9m) and AfrAsia Mauritius Open (R2.25m)
From top left: The 1972 Coetzee-family Beetle; smiling after surgery; Tshwane Open success; Tuna haul off the KZN coast; Titans treasure with Albie Morkel (left) and Dean Elgar.