9th December 2017 | Sunshine Tour
‘Big’ Sishen win boosts Du Plessis’ Joburg confidence
Hennie du Plessis says his dramatic maiden Sunshine Tour win at the Vodacom Origins of Golf in Sishen where he defeated Ockie Strydom at the fourth play-off hole injected more confidence into his game.
But he admits he still has a lot to work on to become a force in local and international golf. He said this at this week’s Joburg Open where he carded a third round four-under-par 68 to get to nine-under to trail the leader by nine shots ahead of the final round at Randpark Golf Club.
“That win at Sishen has been big for me,” said the 21-year-old Du Plessis. “I’ve had more confidence, hitting the ball much better. I’m very happy with that win because it’s given me a lot of opportunities and I said to myself I was going to take the next step after that win. So, I am very happy for the opportunities that have come my way since.”
And while he is happy with the overall level of his game, Du Plessis is also critical of himself and the areas of his game he needs to improve if he is to position himself as a consistent performer.
“Overall with my game, I am very happy,” he said, “I’m hitting everything good, always hitting greens, putting well. So, it’s just about scoring right now. But, I’m not holing as many putts as I should but everything is okay.”
Now, playing in the Joburg Open – his second start in a tri-sanctioned event after he missed the cut in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open a week ago – Du Plessis says he feels right at home teeing it up with some of the best performers in world golf.
“I’m very comfortable here,” he says, “I mean, if you’re hitting the ball well and you’re playing well, it just comes naturally that you’re feeling at home and exactly where you should be. The experience of being here is awesome. It’s a big event for us Sunshine Tour players so I’m very excited to be part of it all.”
Du Plessis’ game has come a long way since he won the 2015 Sunshine Tour Q-School, and the victory in Khathu further rubber-stamped him as a natural talent. “I think my bunker play and iron play stand out,” he confessed, “but, I’m also driving it good, so overall, everything is good.”
He will need to fight hard and produce something special, though, if he has any ambitions of making more drama by clinching the Joburg Open which has the sweet incentive of guaranteeing any player not otherwise exempt who finishes in the top-three here a spot in the Open Championship at Carnoustie next year.