Window or aisle? Aisle. First person to call in a jam? My father, David. Test match at Lord’s or Twickenham? Twickenham. First car? Toyota Tazz. Current car? VW Golf GTI. Favourite TV show? Suits, Binnelanders. Lowest round? 60 in a social round at The Els Club in 2015. Superstitions? None. Best friends on tour? Tyrone and Steven Ferreira, Merrick Bremner. Strongest player mentally on tour? Myself! Most naturally gifted on tour? Jean Hugo. Longest hitter on tour? Merrick Bremner. First thing you bought after first pay cheque as a pro? A pair of running shoes in 2008. Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with, living or dead? MMA fighter Conor McGregor. Which celebrity would you sacrifice to zombies? Ross from Friends. at Durban Country Club in the 2009 Suncoast Classic, but I kind of just drifted along for the next few years. I became frustrated that things were not happening quickly enough. Branden Grace and George Coetzee were two of my peers at amateur level, and things were starting to happen for them, but not for me. I was doing okay for a 25-year-old, but I wanted more.
ON WHY PRO GOLFERS SHOULDN’T WRESTLE
At the end of 2012 I was doing some mixed-martial arts training for fitness purposes and tore ligaments in my left shoulder while wrestling. I managed to play on for a few months – even finishing third at the Tshwane Open – but eventually I needed surgery and landed up missing four months of tournament golf. It was during that time away from the game that I did some serious soul-searching and rediscovered my drive for golf. I also realised what off-course pursuits pro golfers should not be doing! I went back to my coach from amateur days, Llewellyn van Leeuwen, and the work we did enabled me to win twice in 2014.
ON MEETING HIS FUTURE WIFE’S PARENTS
We weren’t even dating yet, but I met Zjardene and her parents for breakfast one morning in Pretoria.We were making small talk when her dad mentioned that he had run in a 10-kilometre race the previous day. I was superimpressed he had done it in 38 minutes, and asked if he had ever considered running the Comrades. Modesty prevented him from replying, but his wife Sharon couldn’t resist. She let me know that he had actually won the Comrades! My future father-in-law was 1991 Comrades winner and Iron Man legend Nick Bester! Zjardene and I married two years later, but that story is timeless.
ON INVALUABLE ADVICE FROM GARY PLAYER
After the 2013 Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt I drove north from George through the Karoo to Gary Player’s farm near Colesberg to meet this icon of the game for the first time.A friend of my father had arranged the visit. Gary couldn’t have been more accommodating. We spoke well into the night, mostly focusing on the mental side of golf.The next morning he looked at my swing.A week later I finished third in the co-sanctioned Tshwane Open at The Els Club, earning R1.2 million. Enough said.
ON WHAT’S NEXT
I am a father now. Zjardene gave birth to our son Luca last November, so I now play for our family too. I’ve been to the European Tour Qualifying School four times, without success, and I’ll go again later this year.That’s the goal. I believe I can compete on the European Tour. I also need to win a 72-hole event on the Sunshine Tour. My three victories have all been threeround events.