Wallie marches ahead at The Links

Dimension Data Pro-Am: Day 1Wallie Coetsee has been preparing his game for the 2015 season and on Thursday at The Links, Fancourt he shot 69 to share third place after round one at the Dimension Data Pro-Am.

“I’ve done a lot of work over the last month with my new coach Stan Wilson. We’ve focused on the mental side of things – to walk proud and feel good about yourself – and it’s paying off,” he said.

The two-time Sunshine Tour winner was on fire in the rainy conditions on day one and made three birdies in his last six holes for a 69 at the Gary Player-designed track.

“I’m very pleased. The wind picked up and it got tough, especially with a bit of rain, but when you shoot four-under then everything is fine,” he said.

The Dimension Data Pro-Am, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, puts the professionals through a round at each of Fancourt’s Montagu, Outeniqua and The Links courses. After those 54 holes there is a cut and a final round played on Montagu.

The toughest track of the week is undoubtedly The Links, which hosted the 2012 Volvo Golf Champions. The par 73 course bared its teeth on Thursday and two rounds of 84 went through score recording.

Coetsee rose to the challenge and carded five birdies during the day. He was eager to contend after tackling The Links with such style.

“The confidence is right up there. I have to keep my battery life at 100% all the time. If I hit a bad shot I focus on keeping the same mindset and I try not to chase down a birdie afterwards. I think the mental stuff I’ve been working made a difference today,” he said.

The Plettenberg Bay local is back in South Africa after a successful trip to Asian Tour Qualifying School. The eight-round marathon helped Coetsee to assess himself.

“I just came back from Asian Tour QSchool where I got my card. There were about 500 of us competing and you have to make a cut every two rounds, while playing a total of eight rounds. Getting through that really taught me a lot,” he said.

One shot behind him was Lyle Rowe, who set himself up for a good week when he carded 70 at The Links. The Port Elizabeth local was more than happy to overcome the week’s first hurdle so well.

“It’s always nice to get an under par round, especially on The Links. It’s brutal out there so you just try to keep it in play and go from there,” he said.

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