Michael Hollick finished up the 2013 Lion of Africa Cape Town Open with a run of four birdies to take sole second at Royal Cape Golf Club. On November 27 he’ll tee up in Cape Town knowing that he can shoot the lights out if he delivers a similar performance.
The 27-year-old stood up to European Tour winners such as Hennie Otto and Jbe’ Kruger on his way to that sole second finish, but this year the competition will be even tougher.
The winner of the 2014 Cape Town Open receives a place at the $6,5-million Nedbank Golf Challenge, where a 30-man elite field will battle it out at Gary Player Country Club. That golden ticket had drawn the interest of European Tour champions George Coetzee, Branden Grace, Darren Fichardt, Richard Sterne and Thomas Aiken.
The big guns from abroad will contend against the best of the Sunshine Tour, with players such as Jake Roos, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Merrick Bremner, Ulrich van den Berg and Jacques Blaauw all adding their names to the hat.
The title of Sunshine Tour favourite will surely go to Order of Merit leader Danie van Tonder, who has finished in the top 25 at all but four events this year.
The competition was far from Hollick’s mind ahead of his trip down to Cape Town. Putting is for dough and plenty is on offer at Royal Cape. In two weeks the Durbanite will reveal whether he’s ready for another great week with the flat stick.
“Putting is where it counts. You’ve got to ride that wave of confidence when it comes. I just felt really relaxed out there. When your mind is at ease you definitely putt better because you think about it less. You just pick your spots and try and hit them. I’m trying not to overanalyse on my putts,” he said.