• Tour pros embracing downtime

    Erik van Rooyen
    Erik van Rooyen

    Erik van Rooyen, Dylan Frittelli and Dean Burmester are all seeing the positives to the forced suspension of golf around the world, writes WADE PRETORIUS.

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    With golf in complete shutdown – as is the case with almost every single professional and sport and its respective leagues around the world – the golfing elite are now experiencing, perhaps for the first time, what its like to be ‘normal’. Or, put another way, what it feels like to have no idea when they will next peg it up for work.

    The trio – 2nd, 7th and 12th in South Africa according to the rankings – agree that the clubs will remain packed away for the week or even beyond that.

    So, how will they spend their time?

    In the gym, with guitar in hand and with family and those closest to them.

    Speaking to Compleat Golfer from his new home at the Bear’s Club, Van Rooyen said: ‘I’m finding the positives to the downtime. You kind of have to. It feels good to sleep in my own bed and spend time with my wife, Rose, doing normal stuff … cooking in our kitchen and just hanging out.’

    With the clubs packed away, the world No 42 is working on his guitar skills. ‘I’d much rather be playing, for sure, but it’s not all that bad.

    ‘We are kind of in limbo with the exact return date not yet known but we’re all in the same boat. Waiting to see how things develop and looking forward to some notifications of when we can start preparing for tournament play again.’

    Van Rooyen hasn’t played any golf for a few days, and the same can be said of countryman Burmester.

    Now back in George, the 30-year-old is burning off some steam in the gym.

    ‘I’ll play some golf in the next week or so. Before that, it’s just kind of taking things day by day. I’m enjoying the time spent with my family and friends. There’s a potential fishing trip that I’d like to take, but we are just looking at how the coronavirus outbreak is being managed.’

    Family time is a common theme, something not readily afforded to the best South African players – especially in mid-March – travelling the globe in search of world ranking points and dollars on their money-list earnings.

    ‘I’m home in Austin at the moment. I can’t see myself doing too much over the next seven to 14 days to be honest, Frittelli says. ‘When will the Tour resume? I’m not sure, it may be another month to the current cancellation …’

    But while people scramble to deal with the outbreak and social panic, the John Deere Classic winner is keeping calm. ‘Unfortunately these things can and do happen. We are just trusting that the authorities are putting in the best plans and fans are doing their best to stay safe.’

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