Home course helps Mark stay calm

In June 2012 Mark Mahoney moved to Crown Mines Golf Club, which hosts this week’s Vusi Ngubeni Qualifying School, and his eight months at the track have made him calmer under the pressure.


“There are always going to be frustrations and to keep calm is the key. Knowing where to miss it and how the greens slope is very important for keeping your head in it,” said the 30-year-old.


Off the course Mahoney works as a police officer and moved up to Johannesburg on transfer, but he’s returned to qualifying school in pursuit of his dream of playing professional golf. After making the weekend on two-over-par, he’s in position to achieve his biggest goal.


“I joined Crown Mines because it’s closest to my house. I expected to do well because it’s my home course, and I’m just struggling with my putting, so hopefully that will click and the next two rounds will be even better,” he said.


There are 15 Sunshine Tour cards on offer this week, along with an additional 25 Big Easy Tour cards. The competition is tough, but Mahoney has a home-ground advantage that he’s truly grateful for.


“Just playing the course more than the rest is useful and it’s helped so far. I’m feeling confident for the next two days, but I’ll take it one day at a time,” he said.


With the morning field complete from round two at Crown Mines, Teboho Sefatsa led in the clubhouse on a level-par total. 2013 Vusi Ngubeni winner Makgetha Mazibuko trailed the lead by one shot, while Mahoney shared third with Gerrit Foster on two-over-par.


“I made a disappointing double bogey at the 10th today, but otherwise my round was pretty solid,” said Sefatsa. “I missed a couple of short putts and that cost me, but it’s only halfway and I’m happy with my current position.”


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