George Coetzee began the year hoping to play his way to Augusta, and to do that he needed to rise into the top 50 in the world before the end of March. Three top-25s and victory at the Tshwane Open have moved the 28-year-old to 69th in the World Ranking, and this week in Morocco nothing less than a win will earn him a spot at The Masters.
The Pretoria local has matured into one of Europe’s strongest contenders and ranks 15th in the Race to Dubai. His confidence has grown and willpower will be the deciding factor in his bid to make it to Augusta National.
“I feel like the last couple of weeks – mentally – my game’s got pretty good. So even though the game wasn’t there, and I didn’t play great, the head was there and I could manage to shoot a good round under pressure and I hope that will work for me,” he said.
Coetzee has played 10 major championships, including a trip to The Masters in 2013, where he missed the cut. But he’s finished in the top 20 on two occasions at The Open Championship and shares the course record of 62 at The Old Course at St. Andrews, so he’s definitely comfortable on the big stage.
This week he heads to Golf du Palais Royal, where he’s tied for fourth and 11th place in his last two starts at the Trophee Hassan II. Nothing less than a victory will secure the South African’s spot at the year’s first major, and now is the time to step up.
“The top 50 would be the ultimate goal before April. At the beginning of the year I had a vague goal to do it, but I wasn’t playing that well. I decide that when my game clicked I would start looking in that direction, and now it has,” he said.