George Coetzee is prepped and ready for the Volvo World Match Play Championship, which plays out at The London Golf Club from Wednesday. He’ll look to capitalise on his recent good form and take out some big names in the elite 16-man field.
It’s no small ask for the South African, whose first match is against Ryder Cup star Henrik Stenson. It won’t be the first time these two will face off, because in 2012 the pair were tied for the South African Open Championship lead coming down the stretch.
Stenson won that year and the victory proved to be a catalyst for his career. In the following season he won both the FedExCup and the Race to Dubai, reaffirming his claim as one of the world’s finest golfers.
Coetzee, by contrast, took his maiden European Tour win at the Joburg Open earlier this year. The 28-year-old has since overcome a wrist injury that stemmed from a bicycle accident and in the last few months he’s been in form.
But good form is not enough to beat the world number five in match play and Coetzee will have to really dig deep. Stenson was a crucial part of the runaway victory that Europe enjoyed at Gleneagles one month ago and it will be a huge moment if Coetzee can beat him.
Five of the 2014 European Ryder Cup team will contend at London Golf Club this week, along with America’s standout newcomer Patrick Reed. That’s six of the best match play contenders in the world amongst a 16-man field, and the week is sure to contain some exciting moments.
But for Coetzee it comes down to day one, make or break.