Three top-10s and just one missed cut in nine tournaments is not a bad first half of the year, but Jacques Blaauw will be looking for more as the R2-million KCM Zambia Open gets underway tomorrow at Nchanga Golf Club.
After his third-place finish on the 2015 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, Blaauw would have been hoping that a fourth victory on the circuit would have been just around the corner, but he has yet to get into the winner’s circle since his last victory in November 2013.
After missing the cut in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, he opted to stay at home and get properly prepared for a proper assault on the ‘winter’ events on the Sunshine Tour, giving himself a chance of getting into good shape ahead of the tournaments co-sanctioned with The European Tour in the final few months of the year and the first ones of next year.
With a good prize-fund up for grabs in Zambia, it’s as good a place as any to start.
He won’t have things his own way. While defending champion Ross McGowan of England is absent, there are plenty of potential contenders who will make life interesting for Blaauw.
One of those is CJ du Plessis, who has come close to a maiden Sunshine Tour victory recently. But there are more: Local Zambian star Madalitso Muthiya has yet to show his true colours on home soil, and a good week for him could see him taking his first Sunshine Tour title.
Louis de Jager, Rourke van der Spuy and Ruan de Smidt have been in the mix recently too, and they all could easily step up during the week.
The tournament tees off at 7am.