Zander seeks consistency in Denmark

Investec Royal Swazi Open: Day 4He’s made four cuts on the 2015 Sunshine Tour, and rookie Zander Lombard has a best finish of eighth in the Mopani/Redpath Zambia Open to thank for a solid lead in the race for Rookie of the Year.

This week, he’s playing the Made in Denmark Challenge on the Challenge Tour on a sponsor’s invitation at the Royal Golf Club in Copenhagen, and he needs to find a degree of consistency which has eluded him since he turned professional during the European Tour Qualifying School last year.

He turned professional off the back of his runner-up finish in the 2014 Open Amateur Championship, where he was defeated in the final by Bradley Neil. During his amateur career, he was South Africa’s number one player and rose as high as 48th in the world on the world amateur rankings.

He has made a habit of producing rounds of brilliance interspersed with some really disappointing ones since he finished third in the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School in Bloemfontein in January.

His first tournament on the Sunshine Tour was the Dimension Data Pro-Am, and he finished in a share of 41st after a closing round that had its six birdies rather spoiled by four bogeys. And, after a round of five-over 78 on The Links at Fancourt, he was always going to battle – but a more cautious approach to that final round could have lifted him several places up the leaderboard.

And then, when he had his best chance so far of getting a maiden Sunshine Tour title, he ripped off a brilliant bogey-free 66 in the second round at the Nkana Golf Club in Kitwe, Zambia to rocket to within one stroke of eventual winner Ross McGowan, he followed it with a two-over 74, which included a triple-bogey on the sixth hole and three more dropped shots. A final round of one-under 71 had four bogeys in it, and his efforts in the second half of that tournament smacked of trying too hard to force the issue when times got tough.

In the final round of last week’s Investec Royal Swazi Open, in a tournament which has a modified stableford system of scoring which actually rewards aggressive play, he let things slip in the final round, making just four points in a round which included four bogeys.

Returning to Europe might be the tonic which Lombard needs to break out of the bad habit of making bogeys in batches – and give him the kick-start in his quest for a Sunshine Tour victory in his rookie year.


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