Johan de Beer learnt very quickly that there are a lot of very skilled golfers when he went to play college golf in America. He also learnt that hard work pays off.
After four years abroad heÂs returned to local shores looking for success on the Sunshine Tour and took a further step toward that goal on Thursday, shooting a third-round 67 at Qualifying School for an early hold on third place.
ÂI rated myself as a pretty good junior. When you play amateur events in SA there are maybe 15 guys who can win the event, but when you play an in America everyone in the field is good enough to win. You realize that you have to work harder than every other guy next to you.
ÂI feel very good to be in this position and my game is really where I want to be. IÂm playing right at the right time. IÂve played consistent golf through the week and managed to avoid hitting bad shots. If you can miss in the wrong pace and donÂt make careless mistakes then you can shoot below par,Â he said.
The 23-year-old was pitted against some of the finest amateurs during his four years at Texas Christian University in The States, and those experiences varnished his dream of turning pro. In the years prior to college golf he played in awe of the South African greats, and his journey to Qualifying School is the first step towards fulfilling his goals.
ÂI was lucky to play the best courses and against some of the best amateurs in my time in America. In my first year I played against Rickie Fowler, and more recently against Russell Henley and Scott Langley, and when you see what those guys have achieved it pushes you to succeed as well.
ÂItÂs always been my dream to play on the Sunshine Tour. I remember being on the putting green with George Coetzee and having competitions against him for a coke. I think I won once in 100 times. All I wanted was to play alongside those guys and now is my chance,Â he said.