Musiwalo Nethunzwi was one of two players who signed away their amateur status before this weekÂs Vusi Ngubeni Q-School at Observatory Golf Club got underway.
And, like his friend Sipho Bujela Â who made waves as the first black amateur to be exmept without qualifying for the South African Open Championship Â he has the same kind of self-confidence that made the move seem a no-brainer to him: ÂI signed away my amateur status because IÂm confident and I know IÂm going to make it,Â he said.
HeÂd just backed up what could be construed as a small dose of arrogance with a four-under-par 68 in the opening round. And, in any case, self-confidence is probably a prerequisite for success in the rarefied atmosphere of elite golf. If youÂre going to make a success of a career in a tough sport, you might as well believe you can.
While his second-round 71 Â just one-under-par this time Â was not quite as impressive, what was impressive was the resolve he showed to get things back on track again.
There was also the matter of his response to his opening 68. ÂIÂm happy with that, but there were a few putts that should have dropped, but 68Âs a good start for the week,Â he said.
ÂIn fact, if those putts had dropped, I could have gone even better than Sipho did,Â he added of his friendÂs opening 64.
A product of the Gary Player Golf Experience, and playing out of Modderfontein, he is coached by Neville Sundelson and helped by Stephan Spies and Adriaan van Pletzen. ÂTheyÂve done a lot of work with me,Â Nethunzwi said, Âand IÂm ready.Â
Local Observatory aficionados nod wisely when they evaluate the chances of Nethunzwi and Bujela. ÂThey have a very structured programme,Â said one, Âand that discipline is very good for them.Â
Watching him at work around Observatory, it was apparent that NethunzwiÂs got the game Â but, more importantly, heÂs got the brain.