“Things have changed a lot since my win two weeks ago, so it’s nice to put my head down again and get back out there,” said the rookie, who won the Sun Fish River Sun Challenge in mid October.
There are 88 players set to compete at this week’s R800,000 tournament, which runs for three days at Sun City Resort. The likes of Tyrone van Aswegen and Trevor Fisher Jnr have lifted the trophy in years gone by, which highlights the tournament’s important role as a stepping stone to great things.
There will be fierce competition this week with European Tour regulars Darren Fichardt, Jbe’ Kruger, and Justin Walters making their migration back to South Africa. Returning from the Asian Tour are Adilson da Silva and recent Yeangder Tournament Players Championship winner Shaun Norris.
“I saw Darren (Fichardt’s) bag on the 10th tee when we played today and it will be nice to play alongside those sort of bigger names,” said Van der Spuy. “It’s definitely a step up and there will be a process of finding my feet, but I’m starting to feel like I belong.”
Two-time Alfred Dunhill Championship winner Pablo Martin Benavides will also tee up in the North West Province this week, adding Spanish fire to the melting pot of talent.
It will take three gritty rounds to succeed in the heat at Lost City Golf Course, but Van der Spuy felt up to the task ahead of day one.
“I’ve been out to Sun City a few times, but not for this event. I’ve played the course once a few years back, so it was key for me to get some rounds in before the tournament,” he said.
“Things have changed since I won. A lot of weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I am now able to plan ahead. It’s great to know that there are some big events coming up and hopefully I can take advantage,” he added.