The 27-year-old Christiaan Bezuidenhout says it’s a proud moment for him to be one of 11 South Africans competing at the PGA Championship. He spoke to ANDRE HUISAMEN ahead of the showdown in South Carolina.
A record number of local players will tee off at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island on Thursday, in what promises to be an enthralling four rounds of Major golf.
With 10 South African golfers in the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings and Charl Schwartzel teeing off with an exemption, the week will also be a special occasion for SA golf in general.
Bezuidenhout heads into the start of play as the 41st-ranked player in the world, the second-highest South African after Louis Oosthuizen, and he explains the players are quite determined to put in a spirited effort for the title.
‘It really is awesome to have all the South Africans here this week,’ Bezuidenhout told Compleat Golfer.
‘We are a close group of people and we support each other no matter what. I’m really proud to be one of the 11 South Africans here. We all try to meet up every now and then like when we are playing a practice round together or grabbing lunch together. But, it remains a Major and the guys are really focused on the task at hand.’
It’s been nine long years since a South African player won a Major – Ernie Els’ incredible victory at the 2012 Open Championship the last historic memory.
With a number of young players showing the rankings and the experience of players such as Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace an advantage, the PGA Championship could be the golden opportunity to break the duck.
Bezuidenhout’s meteoric rise in the game makes him a perfect candidate to charge for the leaderboard summit and he is confident his game can match that of some the best in the world.
‘My game is feeling good. I have worked hard over the last three weeks in South Africa and I also managed to get some much-needed rest. Unfortunately, my coach and trainer can’t be here due to the travel restrictions but we are still working online each day and I am feeling confident.
‘I played 18 holes on Monday and nine on Tuesday and Wednesday. I am excited to see how the course plays out, especially with the predicted wind,’ Bezuidenhout added.
Catch all the live action from the year’s second Major on SuperSport Golf (213) from 7pm on Thursday.