Defending champion Louis de Jager is eager to get started on Thursday for the 2020 edition of South Africa’s second-oldest golf competition, the Eye of Africa PGA Championship, writes ANDRE HUISAMEN.
De Jager is looking to join an exclusive group of players, who have managed to win the competition in successive years.
Speaking ahead of the first round, which starts on Thursday at the Eye of Africa Golf Estate just outside Johannesburg, the 32-year-old is heading into the competition with much less pressure which, he believes, could improve his chances of winning it again on Sunday.
‘It’s definitely one of my goals to defend a title. It’s the fifth time I’ll be trying to achieve this. It’s not more pressure. It’s more a case of you’ve done well here before, so you want to do well again. But it’s nothing I’m not used to,’ said De Jager.
Despite losing his tour card, De Jager gained a substantial amount of experience from playing on the European Tour last season and is hoping to carry that into this week’s competition.
‘I had a good year on the European Tour last year. I gained a lot of experience and learned a lot. I’ve improved certain parts of my game a lot, and I’m really looking forward to this year.
‘On the European Tour you’ve got to be sharp the whole time because there is no break, so there isn’t much time to work on your game. It’s much more about learning how to play and use whatever game you have that week, and making the best of it. So mentally it’s quite tough,’ said the five-time winner on the Sunshine Tour.
De Jager will tee off at 8am on Thursday morning and has been paired with Vaughn Groenewald and Jean Hugo for the first two rounds.