Little-known South African golfer MJ Daffue was left happy and exhausted after his fairytale week at the Workday Charity Open, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
Daffue’s presence in the field left many scrambling for information but, more importantly, his game stood up to the pressure especially when you consider his birdie to make the cut on Friday. Buoyed by that, he went on to shoot 65 in the final round and banked $59,830 (R1,004,366) after a final round 73 and a T22 finish alongside Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler.
‘It was obviously a great week. I think if you said 22nd before the week, I would have taken it,’ Daffue said.
‘Today it was funny enough the best ball-striking I’ve had, but I had only four loose shots and it cost me four shots.’
The long week in the spotlight – he qualified on Monday via a 63 – perhaps took its toll as he chased a higher finish.
‘It’s been a long tournament. I think I did a pretty good job of staying in the moment and focusing on the shot ahead. But you lose your vision or your focus for a split second, and you make a bad swing.’
He also admitted to feeling the pressure of his unique situation.
‘Yeah, for sure, for sure. I mean, I think there’s a lot of golfers, and especially if you give me more opportunities, I think I’ll be able to somewhat get status. I’ve obviously said there’s a few things that’s kept me back, personal things, but yeah, definitely extra pressure. You know that if you … like today if I shoot five under like Chase and end up in the top five, things change quickly.
‘I’m just glad I got some FedExCup points and I’m creeping closer trying to get in that top 200. There’s two more Mondays left, so hopefully I can get maybe some more invites if it’s possible.’
Daffue is now ranked 866 in the world – up about 500 places from this time last week.
Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images