When the wind blows at Humewood Golf Club, scene of the R700,000 Sun Boardwalk Challenge, it makes the course even more challenging – but local Titch Moore tamed it in last year’s inaugural version of the tournament.
But that was not before the second round was called off with such high winds that it was impossible to hold golf balls in their positions on the greens – let alone stand upright long enough to get a decent swing at a ball on the tees.
Conditions eased enough on the third day for a 36-hole event to be completed, instead of the scheduled 54-hole tournament. The initial wet and breezy conditions lifted and by the time Moore raised the trophy it was a beautiful day on the edge of Algoa Bay.
“The conditions switched around,” said Moore. “We played with a bit of rain in the morning coming downwind and then it switched to an easterly breeze. That makes the back nine a little tougher, but I kept it in play nicely.”
This year, in addition to the regular wind, there has been a lot of rain in Port Elizabeth, and the course will be playing long with many of the fairways still sodden.
But Moore will be familiar with the conditions, as will a couple of other players who hail from Port Elizabeth. Notable amongst those is Lyle Rowe, who plays out of Port Elizabeth Golf Club, and a couple of others who play out of other coastal courses and are familiar with the effects of wind on their games.
Amongst those is last week’s Sunshine Tour winner, Christiaan Basson, who triumphed on the nearby St Francis Links, albeit in unusually benign conditions.
For Moore, whose home course is St Francis Links, but who lives in Port Elizabeth, playing at home is a big advantage. As he said last year, “It’s inspiring to play in front of home fans and I’ve got a great support base here from my family and my dad. To win here in front of the locals is awesome.”