Former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Brian Baloyi was a very happy man as he teed it up in Wednesday’s pro-am for the SDC Open at the Zebula Country Club.
Baloyi’s beloved national football team had taken a giant step towards the Africa Cup of Nations final after beating Morocco the night before.
“Anything is possible now. We’re two games away from the final,” a delighted Baloyi said of Bafana Bafana’s 2-0 victory over Morocco on Tuesday night to qualify for the Afcon quarter-finals.
“It was nerve-wracking watching the game. The boys gave it their all and played their socks off. The first goal was a good one but the second goal was special. I was sitting with former captain Aaron Mokoena and just before Teboho Mokoena put the ball down for that free kick I told Aaron, ‘This is going to be a goal’.
“Now they just need to keep their feet on the ground. This tournament is now dubbed the tournament of the underdogs and I’d love for us to keep that tag. I don’t want us going into any game as favourites. But I really like the way this team fights for each other.”
Bafana Bafana’s victory has set a welcome tone in the bushveld this week with the SDC Open teeing off a run of four consecutive tournaments co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and Challenge Tour, and where South Africa’s leading professionals will seek to maintain the country’s winning run with a victory against a strong international field.
JJ Senekal is back to defend his title in a field that also includes recent Sunshine Tour winner Ryan van Velzen and a host of rising stars in South African golf who will all be targeting a strong performance on home fairways over the next few weeks.
These four co-sanctioned tournaments form part of the Challenge Tour’s Road to Mallorca schedule where a place in the top 20 on the ranking at the end of the 29-tournament schedule will earn them a spot on the DP World Tour next season.
Photo: Sunshine Tour