Saltman seizes last shot with both hands

The SA Open is the last full-field event on the 2012 European Tour calendar and Lloyd Saltman is just one of the Europeans for whom it’s make-or-break time. He’s not keen to break just yet.

“It’s a sort-of last-chance-salloon for me, last event of the year. I was category 12, so I only got seven starts on the tour this year, so why not. The goal is to win,” he said.

At 196th in the Race to Dubai, the Scotsman is looking for it all this week. He’ll need nothing short of a win to earn enough to keep a full European Tour card for next year.

“It’s pretty cold back in Scotland just now and it’s nice to get away to a good condition golf course and a bit of sunshine. Can’t ask for more – I’m playing good and very happy. I love this place. I played pretty well here last year, finished ninth. Top 10 at last year, so nice to be back and to be playing some good golf again,” he said.

He played the SA Open last year and has a feel for Serengeti Golf Estate. While a repeat of his top-10 is less than he’s after, his good result does prove that he could surprise this year.

The two talking points of the week have centred around the track. Of the topics raised, the hot two were the benefits of hitting it long and the undulating greens. Saltman was on the positive side of both arguments.

“I would say I’m one of the longer ones off the tee, and this definitely falls into my hands this week. Definitely down here in Joburg as well, where the ball flies flies for me. I hit it high and long, so I can take some aggressive lines on par fives and really capitalize on them, which I’ve been doing, and that’s kind of where the scores are coming from as well.

“The greens are rolling true, and you can’t ask for more. They’re very undulating, so obviously there are sections to the greens. You’ve got to try and miss it in the correct spot, but you have to work on your pace putting, because you’re not going to do that all day. You’re going to have some putts over humps and hollows, and if you can get them down to two/three feet and make them it’s going to save you some shots this week. The greens are good, so you put it down on your line and you’ve got a good chance of making it,” he said.

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