• Homeward bound

    Hennie du Plessis
    On to Zebula

    Last week was my first week back after an injury break, and while I was very pleased that my wrist held up, it was still a disappointing week at Ebotse.

    I missed the cut by three shots but I don’t feel like the score reflected how well I actually played. I struck the ball really solidly and it was only a cold putter that let me down.

    I felt like I hit good putts, but I guess I wasn’t reading the greens that well because a lot of the putts shaved the lip of the hole. It’s so frustrating when that happens, but golf is like that – who knows, this week they could all drop.

    This week I have been doing some extra work with my putting. That means more time on the practice green, doing some drills to find my putting groove again. I guess it’s just rustiness, and I should have expected that, but I’m desperate to do well at Zebula this week because the tournament is in my home province of Limpopo. I’ll probably have my family out supporting me too, which is always nice.

    I know Zebula quite well, having played a bit of junior and high school golf there. It sounds like a bit of a golfing cliche, but you need to hit it long and straight there. The par threes can be quite long, so you need to be a decent ball striker if you are going to score well on the short holes.

    This week I watched most of the PGA Championship – what an event! I’m such a big Tiger fan and it was brilliant to see him in the mix again. He was in full beast mode and I could hardly sleep after the final round because I had been so hyped up, jumping about and screaming. It got me so excited to get out on to the course again and got me thinking about the thrill of being in contention.

    It is what all pro golfers live for. It’s why we play the game. When I have a chance of winning a golf tournament, I try to use the pressure and the tension that comes with it – to channel it.

    Funnily enough, instead of getting bogged down with nerves, I find this brings out the best in me. My ball striking gets better and better the more the adrenaline kicks in. I’ve never played in front of crowds like Tiger had at Bellerive, but it’s something I have always dreamed of – and when I do get there I can’t wait to see how I react.

    In the meantime, I’m taking things one tournament at a time as I get back into the swing of things.

    My aim this season is to be consistently in contention. I don’t want to just make cuts, I want to be up there every time and get another win under my belt. This week’s event at Zebula would be a great place to start.

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