Compleat Golfer’s playing editor has won back his DP World Tour card. He takes us through some of his emotions.
First up, an apology. OK, not really an apology, but an admission if this month’s column seems to be a bit all over the place. Forgive me, I blame it on the lack of sleep coupled with over-indulgnce. But I feel I have every right to push the boat out.
Inked in my history is 23 October 2022. I’d just finished the final round of the Mallorca Open on the DP World Tour, the last event of my season. I’d failed. I’d lost my card, I’d lost my job. More importantly, I’d lost my identity. I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t even feel like I could break par, never mind compete to win. All of this I’ve spoken about before within the pages of Compleat Golfer.
But ladies and gentlemen, I write this month’s column on 6 November 2023, on a British Airways flight bound for Johannesburg with the biggest sense of accomplishment and self pride. I did it! I got my job back! I’m a DP World Tour player once again.
And with a tear running down my cheek I’d just like to say a sincere thank you. The support I’ve received over the past year has been moving, motivating and above all else, inspiring. That coming from not only my team around me, who I will address soon, but every South African golfer who’s given me nothing but kind words and support over the past year.
I don’t think you realise the significance of your words to a person in the mental headspace that I was in. So with the utmost sincerity, I thank you.
The Challenge Tour Grand Final was stressful, to say the very least. Going into the final round I was in 16th position on the leaderboard but, more importantly, I was projected to be the last man to get his DP World Tour card.
It was those circumstances that led to a completely sleepless night after a tough Saturday’s golf. My brain was spinning. It was running through every possible outcome for the day to follow. Waking up on the Sunday morning I could feel the tension in my chest. I could feel the weight on my shoulders and I could feel the significance of the day. But, when I woke up, unlike the year before, I had the belief. I had belief in myself and the hard work I had put in during the year.
One thing I continually reminded myself of is a simple sentence: ‘If someone gave you one round to get your DP World Tour card, would you take it?’ That perspective and outlook was the biggest reliever of tension. It removed any possible regrets from rounds in the season. It made possible future outcomes irrelevant. It made me completely focus on the present situation I found myself in. I had a job to do, so let’s take care of business. And as I mentioned earlier, I got it done, shooting my lowest round of the week.
So here I sit, on my flight home, admittedly slightly hungover. And I cannot wait to see my wife, family, friends and team to celebrate the success of this season. I will be the first to admit, last year this time I wasn’t sure if I’d ever feel this rush again. But I guess that’s why we love sport. It’s pure. It’s unpredictable. But most importantly, it’s worth it.
Looking forward, I can’t wait to get back home to play the Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned events. I cannot wait to see all the South African golf fans. But most importantly, I’m buzzing to be back on the DP World Tour.
Thank you for reading and see you between the ropes!
– This column first appeared in the December 2023 issue of Compleat Golfer magazine.
Photo: Angel Martinez/Getty Images