Bekker hoping for consistency in George
He is hoping the Oliver Bekker who played the first two rounds of his recent tournaments shows up for the final two rounds of this week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt Golf and Country Estate.
Bekker, who won the Dimension Data Pro-Am last year by two strokes over Tyrone Ferreira and Thomas Aiken, had a good start in last week’s Africa Open , but let it slip with rounds of level-par 72 and three-over 75 to close 11 shots behind winner Darren Fichardt.
“If the guy who plays the first two days could show up on the weekend, that would be great! #otherguysucks!” tweeted Bekker after the Africa Open.
But he also tweeted a little later that he was looking forward to the week at Fancourt: “Well, back at the place where it all really started for me last year. Looking forward to a good week!”
He built his win last year on a superb seven-under-par 65 opening round on the Montagu course at Fancourt in an event in which teams of professionals and amateurs play a round each on Montagu, Outeniqua and The Links ahead of a cut to 65 professionals and ties who play in the final round on Montagu.
He followed that up with a two-under 70 on Outeniqua and a two-under 71 on The Links ahead of his closing 70 back at Montagu.
“Montagu’s probably my favourite course,” he said. “And Outeniqua is pretty similar – they are both parkland courses, but the greens are a bit different.
“The key to this tournament is The Links. That course is always tough, and how tough depends on the weather. If the wind blows, there are no trees to break it up a little, so it can get pretty difficult out there. A good round there is crucial for the Dimension Data,” he added.
One of the rewards for winning the R3.75-million Dimension Data Pro-Am is entry into the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, and Bekker took full advantage of that last year.
“It was an unbelievable experience, having a chance to pit myself against the best,” he recalled. “I saw how the other half lives! But I also learned I had to stay patient, because it was a struggle out there. You just have to hang in there to see if your luck will change.
“And the way they play in the United States, wedge play becomes very important, and I think I can apply those lessons to this tournament,” he added.
He will have the added challenge this year of a sizeable contingent of players from abroad competing: there are 35 from Europe and five players from the United States in the field.
But Bekker relishes the challenge. “I’d like to think if I can have a good weekend, I can defend my title,” he said.