Omar on target in quest for golfing future
Omar Sandys hit his approach shot on the 18th at Observatory Golf Club low under the branches of the trees on the right, and it rattled the pin as it scuttled onto the green.
He rolled in his six-footer for par, and completed his opening round of three-under-par 69 in the Sunshine Tour’s Vusi Ngubeni Q-School.
It was an unfamiliar setting for Sandys, exemplified by the fact that he lugged his own bag up to the 18th as he asked with a twinkle in his eye if his approach had nearly gone in.
He’d last played in the event – named for Vusi Ngubeni, a Sunshine Tour board member and a director of Eskom who was killed in a 2003 motor accident, and designed specifically to create opportunities for previously disadvantaged players – in 2004.
He won back then, beating Eugen Marugi by two strokes with his closing round of 67.
He has been something of a fixture on the Sunshine Tour since he first burst on the scene after he turned professional in 1999.
He pulled off a sixth place in the Vodacom Players Championship at Royal Cape Golf Club in 2001 behind Ernie Els, and his second place in the 2007 Dimension Data Pro-Am and share of fourth in the Lombard Insurance Classic that year saw him rise to a career-high 570th on the Official World Golf Rankings.
Since then, he’s had just three top-10s on the Sunshine Tour, and at the age of 36, he’s looking for something to kick start his career again.
“That’s what carrying my bag here is all about,” he said. “I’m getting back into shape, and I’m playing here try and win some sort of eligibility for the Sunshine Tour.
“You’ll see me carrying my bag a lot on the Big Easy Tour this year too,” he added. “I really believe there’s a win waiting for me out there – perhaps even a big one.
“And if I win here… that doesn’t count,” he said with the same kind of twinkle he had when he trudged onto the 18th at Observatory.