Jacques Blaauw might not have won the Investec Cup last weekend, but he came mighty close and in the process showed he is ready to push on from his three 2013 victories.
The 28-year-old from Centurion eagled the final hole at the Lost City at Sun City to make things just a little tougher for eventual winner Trevor Fisher Jnr – and if Fisher had faltered with a bogey on that final hole, the pair would have had to play-off for the title, and who knows how that might have ended.
Only one thing is certain, and that’s that Blaauw has become one tough competitor and seems set to add to the three victories he achieved last year on the Sunshine Tour.
Those three victories – his first as a professional in June in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Simola, followed quickly two weeks later by the Vodacom Origins of Golf Selborne and then in November at the Nedbank Affinity Cup – were all achieved in 54-hole events on the Sunshine Tour’s ‘winter swing’.
With his tenacious showing in the Investec Cup, he has become one of the early favourites for the Telkom Business PGA Championship at Country Club Johannesburg next week.
It’s a tournament that he has finished in a share of 16th before for his best showing in the event, and if he can eliminate his penchant for having one poor round per tournament, then he will be an even tougher player.
In the Investec Cup, his bad round came in the second round, when he made four bogeys on his way to a one-over-par 73 at Millvale Private Retreat after his opening 67 on that course. He put things right with a 67 and a 66 on the Lost City with just two more bogeys over those two rounds.
The second of those two bogeys came on the 13th in the final round, which stopped his charge for victory and allowed Fisher to get away.
And both his rounds at the Lost City concluded with an eagle-three on the 18th. So he showed that he can finish strongly.
In the Telkom Business PGA Championship next week, he will be up against defending champion Jaco van Zyl, who is the current leader on the Sunshine Tour for birdies made with 97 in 20 rounds. So Blaauw, with 59 from 16, will be called on to eliminate mistakes if he is to trade blows successfully with the champion.
He has showed he has the skills to do that.