Upward trajectory for Lombard

10th February 2019 | Sunshine Tour

Upward trajectory for Lombard

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Upward trajectory for Lombard

While it is still early in the year to fairly judge, it seems Zander Lombard is slowly returning to the form which had pundits label him the next big golf star after he’d burst on to the scene with that second-place finish to Haydn Porteous at the 2015 Joburg Open.

Indifferent results on the European Tour characterised his young career, and following yet another not-so-solid season last year, Lombard found himself having to fight for his playing card on that tour’s qualifying school. Of the 29 tournaments he played there, he was able to make the cut only seven times, a poor return for his liking. He retained his card in a brilliant fashion, though, as he went to finish second in the final stage at Lumine.

His last five European Tour events, however, have delivered him two top 20 finishes while missing the cut once. He has played five tournaments on the Sunshine Tour – barring the ongoing RAM Cape Town Open where he is a shot behind the lead in the final round – and boasts a win, two top 10 finishes and a top 15 while missing one cut.

He is in contention at Royal Cape, trailing JP Strydom by a single shot in the final round, and he is aware of his recent struggles, despite a solid showing whenever he’s come home this season.

“It has been a real grinding year,” he said after his third-round 69 in Cape Town. “As you know, my results have not been up to scratch but I did not think too much of it, because I knew that I was working on the right stuff. It is nice when it kicks in sometimes and I have a great team behind me. It is not that I started practising yesterday. This is all the year’s work, plus I have got a lovely girlfriend, lovely family and amazing coaches who support me.”

For many professionals, including Lombard, and as it is expected at the oldest golf club in the country, the combination of swirling wind and the tight tree-lined fairways at Royal Cape proved to be a real test this week.

“It was a battle, it took all my energy, my mind and power,” he said after round three. “I am definitely going for a nap after this. It was just tough. It is one of those rounds that you want to grind it out. I tried to hit the fairways and the greens. I was looking for birdies out there, but I only managed to find few and the eagle on eleventh.”

He gave a good account of himself and in a good position on day four in Cape Town, Lombard has every opportunity to claim his second Sunshine Tour title.

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