They are little tweaks to his game, but they are enough to make defending Lion of Africa Cape Town Open champion Jake Roos as formidable an opponent as he was last year.
The tournament gets underway at Royal Cape Golf Club on Thursday as Roos prepares to defend the title which he won in a four-way play-off with Jaco van Zyl, Tyrone van Aswegen and Mark Williams for the fifth Sunshine Tour title of his career.
“There are one or two little things I have been ironing out in my game,” he said. “Everything is there and just waiting to fall into place.
“My ball-striking wasn’t quite as good as it could be of late, but I’ve changed the lie-angle of my irons, so that seems to be working. My putting’s also been a bit inconsistent, but I’ve been working on that with my coach Doug Wood. That’s important, because if you have a good day with ball-striking and you’re not converting your putts, it doesn’t really help.”
Roos has finished in the top 10 eight times this year on the Sunshine Tour, and that includes his sixth career title in the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open in April, so he has a solid enough season behind him and plenty of desire to do better.
Not that he is over-confident. “I’ve learnt that even if you’ve done well, there is no guarantee of bringing that past performance back,” he said. “I’m coming in with lower expectations than a lot of people would think I should.”
His success last year was built on his closing four-under-par 68 around the 6,260-metre Royal Cape layout, during which he made an eagle-three on the 498-metre seventh to vault into contention, and then he made birdies on 16 and 18 in regulation play after a bogey on 15 to get into the play-off.
His play-off record – he had won all of his previous four Sunshine Tour titles in play-offs – made him a tough customer, and he slotted a 15-footer for birdie on the second play-off hole to win.
But he knows that there is plenty of good opposition waiting for him this time round. “There are a lot of guys that have been playing well lately,” he said, “and some of them who have been playing overseas have also been on good form – like Justin Walters, who came second in Italy, and Hennie Otto is in good form – so there’s lots of guys who could do it.
“But I think the conditions are going to be quite tough, so it will probably be one of the more experienced guys,” he added.
And Roos’ low ball flight and love of working the ball around a little could be just the ticket to a repeat victory by the time Sunday rolls around.