Mark Fensham played last week’s Sunshine Tour event on an invitation, and, if he repeats his performance in the R700,000 Sun Fish River Sun Challenge which tees off on Wednesday, he’s going to have to re-evaluate his approach to professional golf.
The 32-year-old from Port Elizabeth finished in a share of third at Humewood Golf Club, his home course, last week behind winner Chris Swanepoel and runner-up Ulrich van den Berg, and he did it during some time off from his day job.
“I haven’t played a lot of golf this year,” he said. “I’ve played a few tournaments on the Big Easy Tour, but I’m a working man now, doing a lot of work in the family business, so just being out playing, seeing old friends… maybe I am a bit more relaxed through that.”
It certainly shone through in his final-round 68 at Humewood, and, but for a bogey on 18, he might have placed even more pressure on Swanepoel and Van den Berg who were finishing behind him.
And while playing on his home course helped him at Humewood, he’s looking forward to playing the Fish River Sun layout, over which he had some success as an amateur. “It was definitely an advantage playing at home, knowing how to play in the wind on that course – I just really enjoyed the week,” he said.
“I know this course quite well, too,” he said. “I won a few amateur tournaments here, and the key is to keep it in play. This golf course is a beats, particularly in the wind. So you need to keep it on the fairways, play the par-fours into the wind as par-fives, and the downwind par-fives as par-fours. And if you can grind out three rounds of anywhere near level-par in the wind, you’ll probably be up there by the end of the week.”
The relaxed approach to playing in a tournament is not going to change, but another good finish my force Fensham to reconsider the current division of his time between work and golf. “I’ll continue working,” he said. “Maybe this approach – working and treating the golf as not the most important thing in my life takes the pressure off. But I’ll definitely have to relook at things if I do well again this week and spend a bit more time playing on a golf course.”