Jared Harvey won twice on the Big Easy Tour in 2012, and he’d be thrilled if he gets his maiden Sunshine Tour victory in this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Arabella Golf and Country Estate which gets underway on Thursday.
Harvey has had four runner-up finishes on the Sunshine Tour, and the last time he played at Arabella in 2014, he finished in a share of eighth in the tournament which was shortened by a day of high winds to 36 holes.
“Wind is just a mental thing,” said Harvey. “Too many people take a look at the windy conditions and think that they are going to be unable to play in them. Well, the conditions are the same for everyone.
“I haven’t done anything different in preparing for this tournament. It’s just about being ready for whatever comes our way. And I have good memories of this place, so I’m hoping that the breakthrough will come sooner rather than later,” he added.
A month after that 2014 finish at Arabella, he found himself joint-runner-up for the fourth time of his professional career, also in a wind-affected event at the Wild Coast Sun. There, a second-round seven-under-par 64 was what gave him the boost into second.
With the forecast predicting winds gusting up to 40 kilometers an hour during the first and second rounds, Harvey is going to have to have his wind game up to scratch if he is to get that first victory.
There is more than just a professional golf tournament going on: the charity element of the series has long been an important part of it. This year, ‘Birdies for Babies’ will get R200 from Vodacom for every birdie made during the pro-ams and the tournament proper, and that amount will double in the final event at St Francis Links.
Three beneficiaries have been identified for this year’s series. The first is the Smile Foundation, which deals with facial disfigurement in children between the ages of five and 12. The second is the Laudium-based New Beginningz, which houses orphans and HIV positive children. There are 35 of them up to the age of five in the facility.
The final one is the Walter Sisulu Paediatric Cardiac Foundation, based in Cape Town’s Red Cross War Memorial Hospital. Its administrative headquarters are at Netcare Sunninghill Hospital, and they focus on delivering life-saving surgery for underprivileged children with heart disorders.