22nd May 2020 | Sunshine Tour
Harding ready for battle of Stellenbosch
Justin Harding says while he can’t wait to tee it up against an old friend in Oliver Bekker when the two battle it out in the sixth round of the Virtual Sunshine Tour Challenge – a free-to-watch live-stream YouTube – something’s bothering him.
“I don’t get to use my long putter in this game,” he said during a virtual press conference held ahead of Sunday afternoon’s match up. “That is a bit frustrating, and I don’t seem to be making as many putts in this game than I do in real life.”
Harding knows a thing or two about losing out to Oliver Bekker – he was defeated by Bekker in sudden-death of the 2017 edition of the Lombard Insurance Classic and many other times in The Call of Duty video game, according to revelations made at the same press conference – but has other plans for the man he’s known for so long, for this Sunday.
“He (Bekker) seems to think he’s a natural in this game, I beg to differ,” said a determined Harding. “I’m hoping to get one up on him. He is a ninja when it comes to Call of Duty, I’m useless in that game but I am hoping to be a little bit more competitive on the golf one.
“I’ve been playing a bit longer than Oliver. I’ve probably been playing for about a month. It’s a lot more difficult than real golf, I won’t lie. It feels like you should be pretty good at it and sometimes, you’re not.”
Bekker, for his part, has been playing the game for just a little over a week and is looking forward to the good competition and some laughter on Sunday afternoon. “I just started playing the game last week and I think it’s a lot more realistic than some of the other golf games.
“For me, that’s also frustrating a bit because it almost feels like you’re playing on a real golf course on some holes and you’re not. But it’s very interesting.
“It is completely new. It’s innovative and I’m glad the Tour has done it. It’s the Tour getting ahead of the guys, putting us out there regardless of the fact that it’s a game or what they shoot in the game. It’s about getting people to notice that there’s something still going on in professional golf. In that regard, I think it’s great.
Previous clashes involved James du Preez and Wilco Nienaber, Brandon Stone and Haydn Porteous, Martin Rohwer and Jared Harvey and Heinrich Bruiners with Andre Nel. The live-stream begins at 15h00 on the Sunshine Tour YouTube platform.