Estiaan Conradie claimed a memorable victory in the SunBet Challenge, and has shared his thoughts on the Sunshine Tour’s new Player Blog.
It’s a massive relief for me to win. Especially, after coming back from my hip surgery in 2020. I had to go through a lot of rehab and it was a massive process, so to get through it and out the other side is very rewarding. It was a tough few months. It was in the middle of the Covid-19 lockdown that I was operated on. It’s tough, because you feel bad for everyone else who is struggling with this pandemic and I’m sitting there just wanting to get an operation to get back on the golf course. But I also had to work through what I had to work through. But, yes, there is always somebody out there who has it tougher than you do.
The celebrations after that win were awesome. It was so nice to have my friends and family there. We had a couple of drinks on Friday night, and luckily it didn’t continue into Saturday. But I was happy I could celebrate with everyone there with me.
When my brother Ruan won in eSwatini in 2019, I was the only one with him there. So, for me to have everyone there at Wingate for my win was really special. I’m sure Ruan would’ve loved the same for his first win. It’s awesome to be able to share all the hard work with the family and friends group, and to show them the result of all that hard work and support.
It’s been years of hard work and dedication to the careers of both me and Ruan. You know, your family is with you through thick and thin. It’s a long journey, and finally they get to enjoy the reward with you and be able to see with their own eyes what the result of all of that hard work and support is.
The bond between me and Ruan has been very close since we’ve been on the Sunshine Tour together. He is two years and two months older than me. At school we were close but we didn’t really do much sport together because we played on different teams and so on. Then, after school, Ruan had two years where he was playing amateur golf and I didn’t see that much of him. But when I finished school, from then up to when we got our Sunshine Tour cards and up to our first wins now, it’s been a long journey and we’ve stuck together through it. It’s been really good to have him by my side. He’s helped me along the way. It’s been great to have someone alongside you week in and week out working on the same dream. We’ve had fun times and some tough times together as well.
It definitely feels different to be a Sunshine Tour winner now. Everybody at the next event greets you differently. You feel different. You kind of have to manage the expectations now because you can’t win every week on Tour. But hopefully if I go through the same process each week then I can build on that win, which is what I want to do.
I think the best congratulations I received were all the messages on Facebook and Instagram from my girlfriend, Cindy. She’s posted and reposted a lot of the Sunshine Tour content from my win. She’s been with me through it all now and she means so much to me.
I’m exempt on the Tour now, which is great. But it also means I no longer have an excuse to skip any family events. I am skipping one event to go to a wedding in my girlfriend’s family. I can’t miss those anymore. I have no excuses now.
I just want to say a massive thanks for what the Sunshine Tour has been doing for us during this Covid-19 pandemic. They’ve really stood by us and the caddies and their staff. They have done a tremendous job and we really appreciate them. They have been working really hard behind the scenes and I just want to say a big thanks to them for that.