5th December 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Nervous Davidse looks to improve Joburg showing
Keenan Davidse admitted to being nervous ahead of the Joburg Open – where he finished in a share of seventh last season – but is still motivated to improve on last season’s dramatic performance when he tees off at Randpark Golf Club on Thursday.
Rounds of 67, 67 and 68 earned him a 12-under-par score for a share of seventh – along with George Coetzee, America’s Paul Peterson and England’s Aaron Rai – after the tournament was reduced to a 54-hole event due to heavy storms.
“I’m actually nervous, to be honest,” Davidse said on Tuesday. “The conditions are pretty much the same, obviously. But, I put in a lot of hard work on my overall game so in that respect, I feel good.”
However, as good as he is feeling about his game, Davidse refuses to get ahead of himself ahead of this R16.5-million event, sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, the European Tour and the Asian Tour, on account of last year’s performance. And, while he acknowledges that he set a standard for other players in the Gary Player Class of 2017-18 – a Sunshine Tour development initiative he is a member of – to follow, he remains humble in relation to his exploits here last season.
“Every player out there is trying to match and beat the top players at the time and it was not different for me last season,” Davidse revealed. “But, it is nice when your peers look at your achievement and aspire to get there because we all do it. I look up to some players too, so it’s nice because the guys aren’t jealous of success, in fact, they strive for it so for me it is fun.”
The Gary Player Class of 2017 is the Sunshine Tour’s main development squad for previously disadvantaged professional golfers and benefits from the longstanding and continued support of the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB), that was founded in 1999 as the official body for golf development in South Africa, as well as the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation (EEFF) in the collective effort to use golf to improve the lives of disadvantaged South Africans.
The result Davidse secured last season at this tournament remains the highest finish he has ever registered in the co-sanctioned tournaments, and the 28-year-old professional who plays out of De Zalze Golf Club is inspired to go further.
“I draw inspiration from my family,” he said, “they keep me strong and my faith also keeps me strong so while the pressure is always there, I am always strong to perform to my best.”