A pro-am tee time with the Sunshine Tour commissioner in this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf at the Devonvale Golf and Wine Estate is enough indication that rookie professional Kyle de Beer has made more than a few people take notice of his strong start on the Tour.
The 25-year-old former top South African amateur announced himself with an incredible debut on the Sunshine Tour in August’s Gary and Vivienne Player Challenge, where De Beer led for most of the tournament before finishing fourth.
That performance earned him a place in this week’s 54-hole Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament, which tees off in the winelands on Friday.
More importantly, it confirmed what De Beer has believed ever since he turned professional.
“I know from my experience as an amateur playing in professional tournaments that I can compete. So as a pro, I knew that if I just stuck to my processes I could compete and score well on the Sunshine Tour,” he said on Wednesday.
There was certainly no doubt about his ability following rounds of 63 and 65 to lead the Gary and Vivienne Player Challenge, and it was really just a run of four bogeys over the turn for a final round of 73 that cost him a first victory in his first event as a professional on the Tour that week.
“It was a fantastic week. I was actually just grateful to be there and receive the invitation. To play good golf was amazing. It wasn’t the result I wanted but I learned a lot. Having been in that situation now, I think I’ll handle it better the next time.”
This week offers another perfect opportunity for De Beer to test himself against a typically strong Sunshine Tour field including eight of the last 11 winners on Tour, and with a selection of the leading women’s professionals on the Sunshine Ladies Tour also competing for the same prize money as part of the series’ groundbreaking move to a mixed event this year.
“I’m really looking forward to it. The course is looking very good despite all the rain they’ve had. I’m just really looking forward to another opportunity to compete on the Sunshine Tour. I’ve got enough proof that I can compete, and it’s just a matter of trying to not feel too intimidated. It’s not a one-on-one situation out here. It’s just a case of reminding myself that it’s not me against 120 other professionals this week. It’s me against the golf course.
“So I’m just focused on taking it one week at a time, and I’ll keep trying to fast track my career with one or two more good performances.”
By Michael Vlismas