Andrew rounds off great week in style
When it comes to journeymen Sunshine Tour professionals, few can boast better consistency than Andrew Curlewis. Since turning pro in 2004, the man from Margate’s steady driving and level headedness has seen him make more cuts than he misses.
In his first two years on the Sunshine Tour, he was unable to make any great waves, but a maiden win at the 2007 Vodacom Origins of Golf at Arabella was to shape both his season and his career. He has comfortably found himself inside the top 60 on the Order of Merit in every season since, and it thus comes as no surprise that he has already amassed more than R1.5 million in career prize money.
But, frustratingly for the 29-year-old, he hasn’t been able to claim a title since, and in 22 co-sanctioned events, he has made the cut on just five occasions. This week at the Africa Open Golf Challenge, he went a long way to improving on that record as a final round of 67 took him to 10 under for the tournament and right in contention for a top-10 finish.
“I’m very chuffed with how it went today to be honest,” Curlewis told supersport.com. “It was certainly the best round of the week for me, so it’s nice to have it on a Sunday. Especially in tough, windy conditions like these it’s all the more satisfying, and hopefully I’ll jump up a few spots.”
“I don’t know if anything changed this week, but I just felt comfortable from the outset. I also played with nice guys every day. It’s just been one of those weeks when the putts go in the hole and you enjoy yourself,” he added.
Curlewis, who runs a pro shop at Margate Country Club, has played a great deal of golf on the coast, and thus seldom has problems dealing with wind. But, even with his renowned accuracy, he admitted that the wind this week had provided a stern test.
“I am generally very comfortable in the wind, but then again, some of these fairways here at East London are just 15 yards wide so it’s still intimidating. And the wind really is pumping out there,” he explained.
While many would look at a career record like Curlewis’s with envy, one of the noticeable gaps on his resume is a good result on the big stage. He conceded that the result this week will give him great belief, but he believes it was his efforts last month at the Asian Tour Qualifying School that gave him the confidence that he can take his career to the next step.
“A result like this certainly helps with trying to take my game to the next level. It started in January when I went to Asian Tour School though. I only missed my card there by two shots, so that gave me belief that I can compete with the best of them. And playing nicely this week and securing a good finish consolidates that. I’ll take ten-under par for four rounds on this course anytime,” he smiled.
Twenty-three top-10 finishes, a spell with 15 consecutive cuts made and a stroke average of 72 makes for good reading. But, after a week like this, the best may yet be to come from Curlewis, and don’t be too surprised if it is the win column that surges in years to come.