Maiden win not forgotten by De Jager

Louis de Jager will not have forgotten what it took to claim his maiden Sunshine Tour victory at the 2009 Suncoast Classic, and he returns to compete in the R500,000 tournament this week.

In September De Jager recorded two top-10 finishes and took his 2011 tally to six, but he is yet to record a second win in his career and will surely turn his focus to Durban Country Club.

Last year De Jager finished tied 10th at the Suncoast Classic when he closed the event at nine-under-par, 11 strokes back from the lead.

De Jager shot 64 for his second round and while he may have struggled to close with style, showed his liking for the KwaZulu-Natal track.

In September De Jager finished tied third at the Northern Cape Classic before tying for second in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final, and his run of good form is expected to carry into this week.

Also on form is Warren Abery, who tied for 14th at the 2010 Suncoast Classic after shooting a final-round 67 to close the event at eight-under-par.

At the end of last month he finished in a share of sixth at the Platinum Classic, and followed the result with further success when he finished tied eighth at the KCM Zambia Open last week.

In Zambia Abery struggled on the final round and shot one-over-par for a disappointing end to the three solid opening rounds, which preceded his final card.

With his good run of form building up to this week, Abery can be expected to take a real crack at victory.

Meanwhile, Allan Versfeld leads JG Claassen in the Rookie of the Year race, yet the former is still hunting a maiden victory, despite coming close during three events over the last three months.

The first of these was the Vodacom Origins of Golf Sishen event, where he finished two strokes shy of winner Adilson Da Silva.

The second close call came at the Platinum Classic, where Versfeld finished in a tie for third at 14-under-par.

The third near miss for top honours came when he took sole possession of fifth at the KCM Zambia Open last week, and Versfeld must thus be close to taking a victory before the year is out.

De Jager’s maiden victory at Durban Country Club has ensured that he will return with the drive to take a further victory at a course he clearly favours.

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