Keith HorneÂs victory at the Telkom PGA Championship gave him the confidence boost he needed to take a completely different approach to this weekÂs Open de Andalucia at Aloha Golf Club.
ÂItÂs been a huge goal of mine to win a big one in South Africa, and this (the Telkom PGA Championship) is a big one. I hope this is a stepping stone to success on the International circuits,Â he said.
Louis Oosthuizen and George Coetzee used their Telkom PGA victories to springboard their careers and, despite the age gap, Horne felt that he could also succeed now that he has such a big win under his belt.
ÂIÂm a late bloomer, but I have been improving almost every year and I certainly think the best is yet to come. My game has improved every year and IÂve always felt that my best golf is still ahead of me,Â he said.
Horne has played on the European Tour since 2004, yet this has comfortably been his best year so far Â he headed to Andalucia at 53rd in the Race to Dubai.
Moreover, he had a tough time of things throughout his 2011 season and felt that his ability to get back up after every fall was going to pay dividends come the 2012 season. ÂLast year was a struggle on the European Tour. If I could go through such hard times and make it through then this year has to be good,Â he said.
Joining Horne in the field is Hennie Otto, who bagged a big home victory when he took the South African Open Championship at the end of last year. Otto finished tied eighth at the Open de Andalucia last year after he broke 70 three times and finished five shots back from winner Paul Lawrie.
A total of nine South Africans will compete in Spain this week, but the man set to springboard into action is Horne.