He’s comfortably atop the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, but George Coetzee would love just a little luck in this week’s PGA Championship to validate what has been a year which just doesn’t seem to want to catch fire.
Winning the Tshwane Open on his home Pretoria Country Club course was something he will cherish for a long time, and pulling off the win in a play-off with Thorbjorn Olesen in the inaugural AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open was sweet.
However, but for those two performances, things have not been great for Coetzee this year with seven missed cuts on The European Tour, and, bar a pair of 69s with which he finished last year’s World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions last year for a share of 12th, he has not managed to card a round under 72 on the US PGA Tour this season.
And worst of all, in the one major in which he has high expectations of himself, The Open Championship, he contrived to miss the cut after rounds of 74 and 73 at St Andrews – admittedly in very difficult conditions.
However, he can get back into the kind of form which had him inside the world’s top 50 (as opposed to his current 68th spot on the Official World Golf Rankings) in 2013 when he made it into the Masters field and played in all four majors for the only time so far in his career.
He has a 15th place finish and an 18th to his credit in The Open, but he has not made the cut in three attempts at the PGA Championship.
On a course which, to the initial glance, doesn’t appear to suit him overly much, he can actually knuckle down and produce a performance this week which will see him into the climax of the European season and the South African summer in a much better position.
With Whistling Straits not playing too much like the links it resembles, but giving up shots to long drives and accurate approaches more in keeping with the kind of target golf the PGA Tour offers week in and week out, a little Coetzee patience can go a long way in Wisconsin.