Grant Muller has been building Â a house, as well as his game Â over the last few weeks, so his mind has not been fully on defending his title in this weekÂs R850,000 Lombard Insurance Classic at SwazilandÂs Royal Swazi Spa.
ÂIÂve played poorly since I started building,Â said Muller, Âand I was out for six weeks with a torn tendon in my shoulder.Â
That took his focus away from the event he won on the third hole of a sudden death playoff with ZimbabweÂs TC Charamba last year after the duo was deadlocked at 15-under after 54 holes.
He finished in a share of 21st in last weekÂs Vodacom Origins of Golf event in Pretoria with rounds of 75, 71 and 72 on a Pretoria Country Club which wasnÂt giving up much. ÂI was reasonably happy with that,Â said Muller, Âand things are looking up again.Â
His win in last yearÂs Lombard Insurance Classic was his first since he had his maiden win back in 1997 when he romped to a five-stroke victory over Hennie Otto at Selborne Golf Club in the KwaZulu-Natal leg of the Vodacom Series.
ÂItÂs been a long time coming,Â said Muller after his second win. ÂYou know IÂve had good opportunities, and I just havenÂt been able to seize the moment.Â
He followed his win in Swaziland last year with a top 10 finish at Selborne, and three other top 20 finishes, the best of which was a share of 15th in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
He has a good record at the Swaziland course, with that victory, five top 10s and a win in a non-Order of Merit touring pro-am there.
ÂItÂs not really a bomberÂs course. IÂm not a long hitter so you donÂt have to bomb it out there and it benefits the shorter guys,Â he said.
ÂItÂs one of the few courses where I can get onto all of the par-fives in two, and thatÂs where the difference comes in, especially when you are hitting wedges in for second shots where you would normally be hitting six or seven irons in.Â
He had to wait 13 years for his second victory. HeÂs hoping it wonÂt be that long till he wins again.