Jaco looking for masterly performance at Wild Coast

Jaco van Zyl wants to repeat the formula which saw him win on a brief return home from Europe when he tees it up in this week’s Nashua Masters at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club.

“I’ve matured as a player,” said Van Zyl, “but I’m not so arrogant as to believe I can just pitch up and win,” he added.

The 32-year-old Dainfern professional has been campaigning on the European Tour this year and has managed to climb into 48th spot on the 2011 Race to Dubai, and he will probably end up having a position in the top 60 who get to compete for a share of the Dubai World Championship bonus pool at the end of the year.

And, in a brief foray home in September, he handed the form player on the 2011 Sunshine Tour a six-stroke beating as he won the Telkom PGA Pro-Am in Centurion from Jean Hugo.

And as the Sunshine Tour heads into its busy summer season, he is back in South Africa and he is up against a field bristling in talent with players with points of their own to prove.

George Coetzee, Adilson Da Silva and Garth Mulroy have all returned from overseas campaigns determined to be dominant in their home country and ahead of further foreign challenges.

And local campaigners Hugo, Oliver Bekker, Darren Fichardt and James Kamte, who won last week’s BMG Classic, are all keen to show that their decisions to campaign at home are justified with a victory in a tournament that has been part of the South African golf landscape since 1960.

For Van Zyl, the Nashua Masters presents something of a conundrum: “I have never played that well at this tournament,” he said. “My best finish here is third, and it’s the best by far.

“But I love the place. I grew up half an hour from here, so it’s always a good week with family and friends.

“And I like the course. It’s a fair test whether the south-wester or the north-easter is blowing – you get your fair share of holes against the wind and with the wind,” he added.

He has been back in for South Africa for two weeks as he gets ready for the big Sunshine Tour summer. “I haven’t been doing much,” he said.

“But I will be doing what I normally do in preparation for any tournament. It’s important for me to get a kick-start ahead of the co-sanctioned events in South Africa.

“And I want to be in good shape going to Dubai in December,” he added.

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