Ockie Strydom had a wry smile on his face as he reminisced over his third-place finish at the SA Open Championship last year, and looked forward to once again competing in his national open, which is due to play out at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate this week.
ÂItÂs nice to be back. Last year was something special, and this year weÂre just going forward. ItÂs a new year, and IÂm happy to be back and not have to pre-qualify. IÂve got two rounds at least, so letÂs see what happens,Â he said.
The Kempton Park local has spent plenty of time preparing at the 7096-metre layout, and this week heÂll get his chance to go deep once again.
ÂIÂve been playing here once or twice a week since the beginning of the year. IÂm quite familiar with the course, but the rough is quite thick and I havenÂt practiced in that yet. WeÂre getting there. Tomorrow IÂll hopefully get a practice round in and go from there,Â he said.
The 27-year-old likes a challenge, and it showed at the ISPS Handa Match Play Championship two weeks ago when he made it to the top 16, chalking up his sixth career top-10 in the process.
While he didnÂt want to curse his week, Strydom was confident about his chances, and as heÂs shown before, when he gets his tail up, beware!
ÂItÂs almost the same as last year. The greens are running perfectly, and itÂs sitting when you hit your irons in. IÂm going to try to surprise again. IÂm not saying anything, but the golf is there, so weÂll see if we can go low,Â he said.