16th December 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Bezuidenhout leaps into Leopard Creek contention
He missed the cut in the South African Open Championship, but Christiaan Bezuidenhout showed just how good a player he is as he fired a third-round 66 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship to elevate himself into the top 10 ahead of the final round at Leopard Creek.
But for a bogey on the difficult par-three 16th, which was the most difficult hole on the course on the day, it was a flawless round which gave him a 54-hole total of six-under-par 210, just five shots in arrears of leader Scott Jamieson.
“To be honest, that was the highest score I could have shot,” said Bezuidenhout. “Tee to green, I played flawless golf today. I missed a couple of short ones on opportunities for birdie. I missed three putts inside of eight feet today. So 66 could have been 63, but 66 on moving day is always good.”
It’s been a quiet 2018 on the Sunshine Tour for Bezuidenhout as he concentrated his efforts on his debut season on the European Tour. He finished in 105th position on the Race to Dubai to retain his playing privileges on that circuit, missing just seven cuts in a busy season.
He finished 14 times inside the top 30, and, while that may not be good enough reward for his undoubted abilities, it was that consistency that helped him during a period during which he changed coaches and went to work on his already very good swing.
“I’m happy that my swing changes are coming together now,” he said. “I started with a new coach, Grant Veenstra, about six months ago. We made some changes, and it’s the best I’ve hit the ball in a very long time. I’m happy to see the results showing at the moment.”
He started the new season on the European Tour with a share of 15th in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at the beginning of December. The missed cut at Randpark for the SA Open was frustrating, but he is pressing onward with optimism on a renovated Leopard Creek which is a course he is fond of.
“I like the changes at Leopard Creek,” he said. “You can see the greens and fairways just need some time to settle a bit better, but looking ahead, I reckon it’s going to be flawless.”
He’ll be looking for some flawlessness of his own as he tackles the final round in the company of SA Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.