“I’m more of a summer player and go quiet in winter, so for the last few months I’ve been working hard. I’ve made some swing changes, I’ve got into the gym again and I’m working with a psychologist. And now the results are showing,” he smiled.
The 24-year-old spread four birdies on either side of the turn and, despite a bogey at the last, trumped runners-up Pieter Moolman and Duane Keun by one shot.
O’Riley spent plenty of time as the top-ranked South African amateur before turning professional in 2011. In the last few years he’s picked up three top-10s on the Sunshine Tour and two wins on the Big Easy Tour, one of which came at ERPM Golf Club a month ago. He’ll head into the week with high confidence after posting 65 on Monday.
“The win at ERPM got things going for me and it really showed that I can do this. I’m more focused on the course and hopefully this week I can stick to my techniques and do well once again,” he said.
The Benoni local finished tied 11th at last year’s Platinum Classic and this week his affinity for the course showed once again. That fondness, coupled with his new-found confidence and dedication, will surely give O’Riley an edge as he tees up for the first round on Thursday.
“Knowing the course did help, and having a bit of extra knowledge from my success here last year, especially on the greens, where I putted really well. I’ve been playing well for a while now and I want to ride this wave of good form,” he said.