Jaco set for Cape Town Open defence

2014 Lion of Africa Cape Town Open: Day 4Fond memories came flooding back for Jaco Ahlers on Tuesday when he played a practice round at Royal Cape Golf Club ahead of his title defence at the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.

“Winning here was the start of a good stretch last year and it’s really nice to be back. Once we start the tournament that confidence will play a role and I’m looking forward to a good week,” he said.

The R1,2-million tournament runs for four days from Thursday and Ahlers, who won in a playoff last year, was keen to compete in the Cape.

“It’s nice walking around here and reliving a few of the good shots that I hit. It was a great tournament last year and it showed me that I can compete against the top guys,” he said.

Course knowledge will be important over the coming four rounds and the 32-year-old knew a few of the tricks to success.

“The course is looking good and the greens are nice. The fairways are a bit drier than expected, so we should get a bit of roll. I think it will be a superb event once again.

“It’s a thinker’s golf course, not one that you can overpower. You have to shape a few shots and play some different types of shots. It’s an old-style track and you need to work the ball, which I like a lot,” he said.

In 2014 he shot consecutive rounds of 68 over the weekend for a 12-under-par total for the tournament, which left him tied at the top with Hennie Otto and England’s Ross McGowan.

It took two extra trips down the 18th of Royal Cape, but Ahlers survived the playoff and won his second Sunshine Tour event. It led to big things for the Centurion local, who went on to list the Investec Cup trophy four months later.

This week in Cape Town he could well return to winning ways, spurred on by the good memories that he has at Royal Cape.

“Last year we had some good weather, but it’s one of those courses where the wind affects you on most holes. You can still pick up a few birdies, so I do expect some scoring out there. It’s a nice golf course to play, especially with Table Mountain in the background. Hopefully we get some sunshine and have a fun week,” he concluded.

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