After his stellar second place in the Tshwane Open in March, Jacques Blaauw has been seeking a fourth Sunshine Tour title. This week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf event presented by Samsung offers him an opportunity to follow up on his 2013 successes.
Blaauw shot a final-round 61 at Pretoria Country Club to run eventual Tshwane Open winner George Coetzee close, and he has four top 10 finishes since then for his efforts – but he would love a victory to make his good season even better.
“It’s been a pretty good year for me,” he said, “but I’d really like to add a win to my 2015 season.”
In his last two Sunshine Tour events, Blaauw finished fourth in the corresponding Vodacom Origins of Golf event at San Lameer, and in a share of the same position in the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge.
He’s been trying to fit in a few starts on The European Tour, too, in an attempt to get himself ready to have a tilt at making a career on that circuit. His best result came in last week’s M2M Russian Open where he finished in a share of 28th, but a stint at home and a good result or two might be better for him than struggling abroad.
“It’s not been too difficult for me overseas,” he said. “I’ve played abroad enough to be comfortable there, but it’s certainly true that the standard on the European Tour is higher, so you really have to be on your game to get a top 10 finish.
“And in Russia, I had a great week – I made 22 birdies. But I only finished five-under-par, so I am dropping too many shots to get to the top of the leaderboard.”
In 2013, when he won three Sunshine Tour titles, it seemed his career was on a rapidly ascending curve, and while he has hardly disgraced himself since then – he finished one spot higher on the 2014 Order of Merit than he did in 2013, in 21st, and he’s currently riding high in second place with nearly R3-million in prize money – he knows how uplifting a victory would be.
“It’s good to be in familiar territory, and I know that my game is on an upward trajectory, so I’m looking forward to the week,” he said.
The 54-hole R650,000 tournament at Vaal de Grace gets underway on Thursday.