Still ‘Crusing’ after all these years

There was plenty of nostalgia when Andre Cruse teed off at the Telkom PGA Championship on Thursday and celebrated his 500th Sunshine Tour event.

“It’s always been a milestone and it was nice to reach it. I’ve been aware that it’s coming for quite some time, and I’ve always wanted to get there, but I didn’t know if I could get there,” he said.

The 47-year-old has won 14 tournaments in an incredible 26 years on the tour, but the most memorable times were not always the victories.

“I’ve always wanted to win 15 tournaments, and I’ve been stuck on 14 wins for the last 13 years!” he said. “There are a lot of memories, like when I lost to Richard Sterne in Zambia. I made a hole-in-one at that tournament two years in a row. Same hole, same club: a nine-iron on the 11th, 2001 and 2002. I won a car both times!”

Few golfers manage a feat as great as 500 tournaments, and Cruse could only smile as he looked back over the years. The memories include 110 top-10 results and 3098 birdies, along with 100 eagles and three holes-in-one.

“I’ve had a great time. I think I’m the first person to have 500 events on this tour. I’ve cried big tears, I’ve had laughter and joy, and we all keep coming back. It’s in your blood, and that’s why I got to 500. And I’ve loved it. It’s taught me so many things about myself.” he said.

And this week the venue is fitting – Cruse plays out of Country Club Johannesburg and if ever there was a course that should host his 500th event, it’s the Woodmead course at CCJ.

“It does make it more special to play it at my home course, but I didn’t plan it that way. It’s just a really great co-incidence, courtesy of a broken toe,” he said.

In spite of his illustrious golfing history, Cruse is looking forward to a few more years before he hangs up his clubs.

“Things change in your life, but I can’t look past the fact that I’m in love with this game, and when you’re in love with something you can’t leave it. I would have loved to leave this game 15 years ago, because it irritates me and I hate it, but then I wake up the next morning I get up and can’t wait to get back out there,” he said.

© 2016 Sunshine Tour. All rights reserved. Website constructed by OCS Sport