14th June 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Bekker in form of his life ahead of US Open
Oliver Bekker is in the form of his life – and that may just be exactly what he needs as he tees off tomorrow in the US Open at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
His form has got a lot to do with his attitude to the game: Recently married, and riding the wave of a resurgence of joy in playing the game, he has taken the early high ground on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit with four top-five finishes, including two wins in the Zambia Sugar Open and Lombard Insurance Classic.
“I’m probably playing some of the best golf of my career at the moment, so I think that’s very fortunate for me going into this week,” said Bekker to Sport24.
“I think the first goal is to make the cut, but the way things have been going for me lately I wouldn’t take anything off the table!”
While his world ranking doesn’t necessarily reflect it – he’s at 229 this week on the Official World Golf Ranking, having started the year at 553 – he can play the kind of golf which will make him fit right into the 156-man field of some of the top-ranked players on the planet.
And, having had to navigate his way round some tight tracks in the opening five tournaments on the 2017-18 Sunshine Tour season – Royal Harare, Royal Swazi Spa Country Club, Lusaka Golf Club and Nkana Golf Club all place a premium on accuracy – he will not find the wide fairways of Erin Hills particularly intimidating.
The rest of it, however, is a different kettle of fish: “I don’t know much about the course,” he said. “The greens look pretty small, with plenty of run-offs. To do well you will need to be on top of every aspect of your game.”
While he will be striving to do his best, it’s also a question of drinking in the experience and learning as much as he can from it. “I’m very excited about playing,” he said. “Everything is bigger over here. The crowds are huge, and noisy, so it’s different to playing in Europe or South Africa.”
Bekker will be playing the first two rounds with Australia’s Wade Ormsby and American Kyle Thompson.