9th October 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Who to watch at VOG Sishen
Can Blaauw defend at Sishen in first start of the season?
This week Jacques Blaauw returns home for his first start of the Sunshine Tour season at the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Sishen where he won the corresponding event last year in a thrilling play-off with Theunis Spangenberg.
Both Blaauw and Spangenberg had finished that event on 10-under-par 206 and it took sudden-death to determine the winner. Blaauw is teeing it up for the first time this season on the local circuit and will be hoping to improve on his most recent result which was a share of sixth at the Club Colombia Championship on the Web.com Tour.
Before that result in June, Blaauw had missed nine consecutive cuts, and after 22 starts with 19 missed cuts, he will know has a lot of hard work to do if he is to defend his title. To his credit though, Blaauw has made it into the top 10 every time he has not missed the cut, and that says when he’s playing well, he is definitely among those to watch in Kathu.
Eyes on the prize
Neil Schietekat has been having a great season so far. He has amassed six top-10 finishes this season and only once has he finished outside the top 50. Five of his top-10 finishes, including the recent share of third place with Scott Campbell and Steve Surry at the Vodacom Origins St Francis, have come in the last three months alone and that speaks to the rich vein of form he currently rides. Now, it seems only a win will be the next logical step for the 33-year-old.
Doug McGuigan, too, has been having a solid season. In 14 starts, the veteran McGuigan has fallen out of the top-50 only twice and in that time, he has claimed two victories and finished within the top 40 eight times. The eight-time Sunshine Tour winner will hope to carry the momentum from his recent win at St Francis.
Then there’s Jean Hugo who seems to be in good form too and, with his quality and experience, could pull off a win any time at any place. In the last two months, the 18-time Sunshine Tour winner has made four top-10s and has missed the cut only once. Despite the two poor results at St Francis where he came 42nd and at Humewood where he missed the cut, Hugo is as dangerous as ever and underestimating him would be a mistake.
On recent performance and merit, NJ Arnoldi must be viewed as the dark horse for this week’s event in the Northern Cape. Apart from the top-10 finish at St Francis two weeks ago, he recently finished in a share of fifth at the Big Easy King’s Cup where he was in contention for most of the tournament. Hennie du Plessis is also playing well and will aim to take his game a step further.