It is sometimes difficult for a golfer to admit that what he is doing for a living might not be the most important thing in the world. Portuguese professional Antonio Rosado has grasped that concept better than most.
His wife Rita has been undergoing some long-term treatment for a tumour, and so when he made two bogeys after two early birdies in his opening round of this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Arabella Country Estate to finish level-par on 72, he was phlegmatic about it.
“To be honest, the golf is not the most important thing for me at the moment,” he said. “There are more important things in life.
“My wife has finished all the treatment. They did an MRI scan the other day and they said the tumour hadn’t grown. That’s good, but the doctor said we must live day-by-day,” he added.
He got his career underway after he turned professional in 2007. “I played some tournaments on The European Tour and some on the Challenge Tour by invitation,” he said, “but then in 2010 I stopped playing golf completely. I started again when I came to South Africa. I’m enjoying it now.”
He came to South Africa in 2014, and, because he had no status on the Sunshine Tour, he played on the IGT circuit, winning five times on his way to taking their 2014 Order of Merit.
He gained his Sunshine Tour card in January 2015, when he finished 28th in the Qualifying School, but he was unable to retain it, with just three cuts made during the year and a best performance of a share of 14th in the Sun Fish River Sun Challenge in October.
His 2016 is shaping up to be a little better, given the challenges he and Rita are facing. After finishing in a share of 10th in the Sunshine Tour Q-School, he managed to play himself into the top 20 in the Sun City Challenge two weeks ago behind winner Oliver Bekker.
“It’s my second year on the tour. It hasn’t been easy,” he said. “Last year with Rita’s illness, I stopped practicing. If you don’t practice in this game, you can’t do anything. I started again at the end of the year. If you practice more than hard in this game, your results will come. It’s a matter of time. If I keep practicing, play in tournaments, be patient, things will go better.”
And, for now, going back to his country of birth is not an option. “I don’t think about going back to Portugal at the moment,” he said. “If Rita recovers, and if the economy is better in Portugal, I might think about it. But I’m happy in South Africa. I’m playing – if I play well, it’s good.”