George’s way paved by Grace

Watching Branden Grace succeed throughout 2012 has shown George Coetzee what he needs to do and the 25-year-old will look to emulate the success of his friend at the Nelson Mandela Championship.

“I’m just finally happy that I’ve caught Branden in the Race to Dubai, we’re finally level peggings now that the season starts over. It’s been a tough year competing with this man, he’s been giving everyone a hiding! I think next week will be the main decider, but it’s going to be interesting over the next couple of weeks,” said Coetzee.

Coetzee capped off a stellar season in Europe with his second-place finish at the SA Open Championship, and now turns his attention to the Sunshine Tour’s last two events of the season.

The 26-year-old shares his birthday with Nelson Mandela and will look for inspiration from that great man as he hunts a maiden victory.

“This week is Nelson Mandela’s event. I’ve always shared my birthday with Nelson, and this is quite big. This is a man who changed our country and made it what it is now. He made it a lot better and having a tournament in his name is unbelievable. I’m sure a lot of South Africans are looking forward to playing this week,” he said.

Coetzee is currently third in the Sunshine Tour’s Order of Merit, behind ‘King Louis’ Oosthuizen and leader Branden Grace. He made up plenty of ground with his second-place finish at the SA Open, but still has much ground to cover if he wants top honours on the Money List.

“It’s nice to play in South Africa and especially with a couple of nice events like this one and next week. I think next week will be the main decider, but it’s going to interesting over the next couple of weeks.

“There are a bunch of guys who can come through. Trevor Fisher Junior has had a great season, so I’m sure he’s also one to look at. It will be interesting to see the scoreboards and have the people at home doing the math and working out what scenarios could play out,” he said.

Added to the value of success in the coming weeks is an opportunity to play at Augusta next year. The top 50 in the World Ranking at the end of 2012 will receive invites to The Masters, and the chance was not lost on Coetzee.

“We all play against each other every week, and it’s just about playing golf. It’s always nice to get your season off to a good start, because there are a bunch of categories that get you into different events,” he said.

© 2016 Sunshine Tour. All rights reserved. Website constructed by OCS Sport