• I had it, then I lost it

    Hennie Du Plessis
    On the journey

    Last week was my second week back after injury and there’s no question my game is improving.

    In the first round, I was striking the ball well but the putter was a bit rusty, but I had a few good stretches where I was really happy with my game, only to lose concentration and make a bad swing.

    Then things turned around in the second round. I got off to a really good start, where I birdied the first three holes and got inside the cut line, only to mess it up with a triple-bogey on the par-four 7th. I hit an 8-iron in to the green, the wind was blowing hard to the right and I guess I hit a weak shot. It ended up out of bounds. The next shot very nearly did the same, ending about a metre in bounds. Two bad swings and three shots down the drain.

    I was really boiling over after that and my caddie did well to keep me from losing it – I felt like I had done so well up to that point only to derail my round at one hole.

    It must have fired me up, though, because I birdied the 9th and then had a phenomenal back nine of five under, with birdies on the last four holes. I hit nine birdies, eight pars and a triple – how’s that for a weird round of golf? Still, 66 got me into the top 10 and with an outside chance of a win.

    Unfortunately, the final round felt much the same as the first one. I made a birdie on the 2nd hole but then unfortunately got on the bogey train. Again, my putter let me down. I had my chances but three three-putts on the front nine just killed all momentum. On top of that, my group (Jean Hugo and Anton Haig) were put on the clock for slow play, so that unsettled all of us.

    I tried to stay focused during the back nine but the good result I was hoping for was long gone. It’s so hard to gain momentum with a cold putter – you almost feel like you need to sink a long, lucky one to feel like you are in control again.

    I finished tied 32nd, which is not what I wanted, but a lot better than what I had been doing. There were plenty of positives to draw from Zebula and I will continue to work extra hard on my putting in the hope that I can get it right.

    This week we are playing at the Wild Coast Sun, which feels like a second home course to me because my family has a holiday house not too far away, so I’ve been playing it every December since my junior days. I love the course and I have done well there in the past, although we are not too sure what to expect after vandals dug up some of the greens.

    I’m hoping for a big week but I’m keeping it all in perspective as I try to build up form for the first stage of European Tour Qualifying School next month.

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