He went close in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Simola, and Neil Schietekat wants to put himself in the running again this week at the second event of the series which started on Wednesday at Selborne Park Golf Club.
He carded rounds of 67-69-69 to follow maiden winner Jacques Blaauw home by a single stroke, making it a fourth time in his career which stretches back to 2006 when he has finished runner-up – and he reckons it’s time for a win.
And to that end, he’s been working on his mental approach to the game to get that breakthrough victory.
“Obviously I know what I’m doing with golf swing,” he said, “but you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing. And I wasn’t believing in what I was doing. Now, even if it’s the wrong thing that I’m doing, I’m believing it – and it’s all belief out there.
“I’m hitting some good shots and there are obviously some turning points out there – today on nine, I made a good par save and that kind of got me going for my 31 on the back nine,” he added.
That 31 started with a birdie on 10, had a run of three birdies in a row from 12, and wound up with a fifth birdie on 18, all on a course with which he’s fairly familiar.
“I know it well from my younger days when I lived in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said, “but also, we’ve played it every year since I turned pro seven years ago. If you’ve played here for seven years, you’re obviously going to get to know the course.”
His opening 66 left him three of the pace set by first-round leader Merrick Bremner. But he’s getting used to being in contention. “It’s nice,” he said. “I’m enjoying it more, with the working a bit on the mental side of things.”