Oliver on song at Africa Open

Oliver Bekker opened the Africa Open with a solid 69 and made an early move to third place. He’s keen to keep the momentum going at East London Golf Club.

“If you told me this morning I’d shoot 69 would have taken it! It’s tough out there. You’ve got to hit some good shots, control your ball flight, shape it and try to hold the wind on a lot of the holes. It was really tricky, and patience was the name of the game out there today,” he said.

Bekker followed up a win at the season-opening Telkom PGA Pro-Am with a seven-under-par total at the 36-hole mark. He floundered at the weekend of the co-sanctioned event, and he’s keen to make amends for that in this week’s €1-million tournament.

“Last week I had a little summer flu and struggled with my rhythm a lot. That could be why I struggled so much over the weekend. One day I’d hit it great and then the next I was hitting it 30 metres shorter, even though it felt like I was doing the same thing.

“This week I’ve had nice rhythm in all three of my practice rounds as well as today out there, so hopefully I can keep it going through the weekend,” he said.

Last year was a good one for the 28-year-old, who underlined his six top 10 finishes with a win at the Dimension Data Pro-Am. He also played in the WGC-Bridgestone, and has since set his sights on taking the next step.

“Every week that you tee it up you try to win. You have to think you can win, otherwise you shouldn’t be out here.

Unfortunately this week a lot of guys like Branden (Grace), Charl (Schwartzel), Louis (Oosthuizen) and George (Coetzee) can’t play because of the WGC Match Play event, but that opens the door for us to get our first European Tour win, if we play well. There are still a lot of good players out there to beat, so you have to be on top of your game,” he said.

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