Louis de Jager rides wave of good form into Suncoast title defence

2010-10-22 00:00

DURBAN — A wave of good form could not have come at a better time for Louis de Jager as he steps up to defend his Suncoast Classic title at Durban Country Club from this morning.

Last year the tournament was in fact the first stop after the winter break on the Sunshine Tour, and after withdrawing from the previous two events prior to the break, De Jager returned to the tour and immediately made his mark by winning in Durban and following that up with three more great finishes for the season.

It was De Jager’s maiden title on the Sunshine Tour, and it took a load off his shoulders after he became the 2007 SA Amateur Open champion in both matchplay and strokeplay.

Victory at Durban Country Club didn’t come easily: he finished on nine-under 207, two clear of Swanepoel and three ahead of Adilson da Silva, Titch Moore, TC Charamba and Jean Hugo, but ­only after his tee shot on the 18th landed against a building in an unplayable position.

He got relief from his position, but the free drop was unplayable and he had to take another drop with a penalty to get it onto the green for three. He made sure of his two-putt for bogey and the victory.

“I’m going to concentrate on the golf this week,” he said of the nervousness he feels ahead of defending his title.

This year, the Suncoast Classic takes place slightly later in the season after Durban Country Club’s decision to redo the greens for the 100th SA Open in December.

This seems to have fitted perfectly into De Jager’s plans and he looks forward to returning to the historical layout after two consecutive fourth place finishes at the Vodacom Business Origins of Golf event at Stellenbosch and the SAA Pro-Am Invitational at Prince’s Grant respectively.

This week’s full field sees the return of Keith Horne from the Asian Tour as there is no tournament this week. The 2010 Investec Royal Swazi Open champion and second ranked player on this season’s Order of Merit looks in good shape for the tournament.

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