Vodacom Origins of Golf comes to windy Arabella

Allan Donald will celebrate his new appointment as the bowling coach for the Proteas with a place in the field for this week’s exclusive Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Arabella Golf Club.

Donald is one of several celebrities who will tee it up alongside the invited amateurs and Sunshine Tour professionals in the second tournament on the six-event series, which tees off on Wednesday. He joins Breyton Paulse, Chester Williams and actress Vanessa Haywood in the field.

The professionals certainly have a challenge awaiting them, with the wind already sweeping across Arabella during Tuesday’s practice round and pre-qualifier.

The pre-qualifier saw Andrew Mackie, Blanche Lamprecht and Paul Bradshaw each card three-over-par 75 in the cold wind, with veteran Ben Fouchee and Derick Petersen, winner in the Observatory event on the Sunshine Big Easy Tour also making the main draw at four-over-par 76.

They were joined by Dawie van Wyk, Ryan Strauss, Francois van Vuuren, Ryan Hood and Stuart Clark, with George Sauerman, Johan Bekker and Adrian Ford missing out by one stroke.

Jean Hugo returns as the defending champion in a tournament that was played at Stellenbosch Golf Club last year.

And he’s once again in fine form following his victory in the series-opening tournament in Pretoria last month. That win was Hugo’s fifth on the Vodacom Origins of Golf series.

Adilson da Silva will also be among the favourites, having arrived at Arabella with a win and second place in his last three tournaments.

“I’m very happy with my form at the moment. My putting has really come around, and I’m also trusting my swing a lot more,” said Da Silva, who was crowned the overall series champion in 2006.

Da Silva’s look at the course during the practice round also made him feel at ease for the week ahead.

“I like the layout and the atmosphere here, and the course looks great. The fairways are a bit wet because I think they’ve had a lot of rain here. But the greens are beautiful. They are running so true that if you get the putt on line it will drop, which works for me.”

Da Silva is also not too fearful of the possibility of a windy week on the fairways. He won at The Links at Fancourt on this series in 2007, and during a week of particularly challenging weather.

“There is a bit of a breeze already, and I think we need that to make it a little more interesting. My ball flight is naturally low, and I like having to create shots. But this course does need a bit of wind, because it creates some tight tee shots out there.”

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