Coetzee cruises to opening 63 at De Zalze

Aug 4, 2021 | Featured, Sunshine Tour

George Coetzee showed just what having a comfortable approach to tournament play can do for a top-class player on Wednesday as he raced to a nine-under-par 63 in the opening round of the Sunshine Tour’s Vodacom Origins of Golf event at De Zalze Golf Estate.

In the Sunshine Tour’s return to action after a two-month winter break, Coetzee came home in six-under-par 30, with six birdies on the back nine, including four in a row from the 14th to the 17th. That was after he had made four birdies and a bogey on the front nine for an outward three-under 33. His 63 gave him a one-stroke edge over Jaco Ahlers, who was bogey-free for his eight-under 64. Jean-Paul Strydom was in third after the first round with a similarly blemish-free card of seven-under 65.

Coetzee said before the tournament, “Sometimes the golf becomes just a travel process. I’ve looked at it carefully and the theory seems to be that as a professional golfer you shouldn’t be playing 30 events a year. It means you’re not really prepping properly for each event. You’re just letting each event prep you for the next event, which I feel is not really what I want to do for the rest of my career.”

When he birdied the first hole of the day, things looked as if they were paying off. Not so much when he made bogey on the second, but that was the sum total of the possible negative side of things as he got his new approach road-tested. “You want to perform at your best every week, and if you don’t plan it and prepare properly, it’s probably not going to happen,” he said.

While Coetzee and Ahlers and Strydom went lowest in the opening round, truth is the course seemed very gettable for the pros. There were four players in a share of fourth on six-under-par 66: Dylan Naidoo, Jaco Prinsloo, Oliver Bekker and Paul Boshoff made just one bogey between them – the drop came from Bekker on the first hole.

And there were nine more players who carded five-under-par 67. They had six bogeys between them.

Expect more low scores – as long as the wind stays manageable.

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