Muller eyes more success at KZN Mid-Am
David Muller put his swing and his trust into his older brother’s hands, but it took eight months before the Gauteng golfer’s hard graft was rewarded at the North West Mid-Amateur Open Stroke Play.
Muller carded rounds of 71 and 72 to share the lead at one-under-par 143 with Tshwane golfers, Leon de Lange and Chris Froneman, who both carded 69 and 74. Unfortunately De Lange had to withdraw from the ensuing play-off and Muller claimed the victory against Froneman at the first extra hole.
The victory at the end of July effectively sealed Muller’s spot in Central Gauteng’s Mid-Amateur team for the SA Mid-Amateur Inter-Provincial later this year and it boosted his confidence ahead of the KwaZulu-Natal Mid-Amateur at Durban Country Club on Sunday.
But Muller admits there were times in recent months when he was ready to throw in the towel.
“Fortunately for me, giving up was not an option with my coach my older brother, who is also a Sunshine Tour professional,” the 38-year-old Glenvista observed. “Grant has been on the pro circuit for 20 years. He has seen it all, done it all and just wouldn’t let me quit.”
The elder Muller, who lives and teaches at the Eye of Africa, encouraged his younger sibling to make a couple of big swing changes last year when the amateur’s game hit a slump.
“When I didn’t see immediate improvement in my scores, I became very frustrated,” Muller explained.
“It felt that nothing was working; in fact, it felt like I was going backwards, not forward. Grant kept telling me that I had to stick it out, that I had to persevere with the changes and the break would come at the right time.”
Muller said his brother had a saying that he kept repeating to himself until his break came at Klerksdorp Golf Club.
“Grant always says that you have to experience the depths of the valleys to appreciate the views from the mountain tops. When I had two decent rounds at the Lowveld Mid-Amateur in the beginning of July, I knew I was climbing that mountain. But I can’t tell you how sweet it felt to finally break through.”
Muller, a medical equipment salesman, added that taking up yoga again has also added depth to his game. “I played the best golf of my career when I did yoga fulltime,” he said.
“With all the frustration and a shoulder injury to boot, I hauled the old mat out and join a class about two months ago. I found that doing yoga helps me focus and it releases tension. I found that when my mind was clear, I got on with the job.
“Now I just want more of the same. I guess my brother is right – you forget the valleys pretty quickly when you’ve seen the view from the top.”