Justin Harding played his way into the final stage of European Tour Qualifying School last week, and thatÂs given him heaps of confidence for the SA Open Championship this week.
ÂI am feeling strong. I had a good week last week. It was long, and I made it quite stressful for myself, especially on the last day, but fortunately I played well enough on the first three to allow for a bit of a slip up.
ÂIÂm looking forward to the week. I played nicely under pressure last week, but obviously itÂs a different story playing in an event where if you donÂt finish high enough youÂre done. That gave me a bit of confidence,Â he said.
The Stellenbosch local took his third Sunshine Tour victory at the Zambian Open in June and was excited about having a crack at his national open.
ÂAll youngsters growing up would want to win it. ItÂs one of those things Â you wanted to try and win the SA Amateur when you were playing junior golf and the same thing goes for the SA Open with professional golf. ItÂs an awesome event, second oldest in the world, and thereÂs a lot of prestige behind it and a lot of good golfers on the cup,Â he said.
The Â1-million prize money and the 3,500 Investec Cup points on offer were not lost on Harding, who was pleased with the way the season ended in a crescendo.
ÂI got off to a slow start this year, and with this and the Nelson Mandela being brought in there is an opportunity for us South African guys to make a bit of cash and open up some more doors in the future.
ÂI havenÂt put too much thought into the Investec Cup. Those sorts of things play into themselves Â if you play well then youÂll gradually go up that list. I havenÂt started out very well with it, but weÂll see if we canÂt hunt down Dougie throughout the next couple of months,Â he said.