Thomas Aiken is hoping that a tie for 15th at last week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans is a sign of things to come as the South African tees up at Quail Hollow in the upcoming Wells Fargo Championship, which starts Thursday.
The Johannesburg-born pro had a shaky start to his first season on tour with average results before last week’s outing in Louisiana. The unflattering run by the three-time European Tour winner could only bring a best finish of tied-42nd in both the Valspar Championship and Valero Texas Open before somewhat of a breakthrough last week.
The eight-time Sunshine Tour champ though will take heart that of the 12 tournaments he has played on the PGA Tour this season, he has made eight cuts and is currently on a run of four in a row. Making the weekend is an achievement in itself for the tour rookie, but his weekend scores show that moving into contention remains a challenge for him.
The 2014 Africa Open Champion has failed to consistently break 70 on Saturday or Sunday, and with last week’s performance coming as a result of the tournament being cut to 54 holes, coupled with what proved to be a final round 70, Aiken has room for improvement. The Bahamian resident has only broken 70 on the weekend at two events this season,but both courses were scorable and he finished outside the top 50 on both occasions.
It is understandable that the PGA Tour poses a tougher challenge than the tours he has won on and Aiken will surely hope that the strong field present at Quail Hollow will bring out his best. He’ll be looking to string four strong rounds together and post another top-20 finish.