Despite having clocked up 10 Sunshine Tour victories during his career and has reached 80th in the World Ranking, Jaco van Zyl is yet to clinch victory on the European Tour and needs to find his form at the Qatar Masters this week.
Doha Golf Club will host a star-studded lineup this week and Van Zyl will be in the hunt for glory after he finished tied 24th at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship a week ago.
The 32-year-old has displayed excellent form on home soil over the last four months, beginning with the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He leapt to eight-under after 36 holes and closed the tournament with a final-round 67, securing third place at the Leopard Creek tournament.
A week later he played the SA Open Championship at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate where he tallied 281 for the tournament at finished in a share of 20th.
After taking a share of 22nd at the Dubai World Championship and enjoying an end-of-year break, Van Zyl returned to local shores for the season-opening Africa Open. He did not look back after a slow opening 71 and went on to card rounds of 65, 67, 66. He closed the event at 23-under-par and took sole possession of fourth, four strokes shy of a dominant Louis Oosthuizen, who won the event.
Van Zyl continued to blister through every track laid before him and broke 70 during every one of his rounds at the Joburg Open, closing the event at 14-under and earning a share of third.
His first 2012 trip to the ÂDesert SwingÂ series of the European Tour began with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. There the Dainfern Country Club professional struggled during the first round and carded 75. He steadied the ship and went on to take a share of 24th at five-under, proving his mettle.
With the exception of his 20th-place result at the SA Open, Van Zyl has not finished outside the top five during any co-sanctioned events within the bounds of South Africa, and the glaring barrier to his success is his form away from home soil.
That is not to say he struggles at every event outside South Africa Â during 2011 Van Zyl has finished third at the Omega European Masters and second at Trophee Hassan II.
While those results stand testimony to his aptitude, Van Zyl must work towards maintaining the confidence that keeps him in contention week after week in South Africa. With that composure under his belt, victory abroad would become ÂwhenÂ rather than ÂifÂ.