I never actually knew that Pretoria is the capital of SA; like most people I just presumed it was Johannesburg…the airport’s there, and everyone talks about the place like it’s the capital!
But once you drive around Pretoria you can see a difference – more money, bigger houses and even we were made to feel more important…police escorts back and forth from the course to the hotel every day!!
It was like wacky races; the Metro police on motorbikes think they’re in a Hollywood movie – we went through every red light, and went round every bit of traffic regardless of which side of the road it was on!!
The police turned the roads into chaos as no one else on the road expects a Toyota mini bus to be hell raising through the streets!
The Pretoria Country Club was a pretty nice set up too, it felt a bit old school, surrounded by mansions, it also had a bowling club, squash club and a super tight tree lined course in perfect condition!
They have money!!!
But it’s not often you play a course where you only hit between 5/6 drivers a round, and even stranger that you can’t hit driver on the practice ground prior to playing!
The range was too short, so a few 3 irons off some high pegs to get the feeling and then you were off!!
You soon get round to the 4th hole…
512 yards, trees all down the left, water all the way down the right, the fairway is 15 yards wide and lined with rough… and that’s not the first driver you really want to hit in a round!
I played pretty solid in round 1, shot 68 (-3) with the help of an eagle down the 9th…and that put me in a good position for round two, where a bit of a battle down the stretch saw me home in level par and safely through to the weekend in T28th position.
It wouldn’t have been a normal week in SA if we didn’t have a thunder storm….as we approached the first tee in round two, the klaxon went and we were off for an hour before starting our round!
In the end, they rushed us back out to make sure we finished in daylight and I made the cut safely and was in a perfect position to make a charge on moving day!
I certainly didn’t do that, and honestly I probably let myself down throwing shots away and starting to feel more and more frustrated!!
I birdied the last three – what felt like out of nowhere – to salvage some pride and make it feel respectable, but then tried to do exactly the same in round 4…only to eagle the last and again shoot 72 (+1).
So tied 62nd is not how I felt the week was going to go; my game felt good in the build up!
It’s tough to stay patient but that’s the plan, keep working through my process each week and the results will come.
It’s important that you believe in what you’re doing and I sure do so hang in, folks – a big result is around the corner!!