Has the honour of saying he made his professional debut in The Open, having turned professional just before the 1999 Championship at Carnoustie, where he missed the cut by one shot. His decision to join the professional ranks was prompted by his victory in the final of the 1998 South African Amateur Championship. Succeeded Trevor Immelman as champion, as he also did in the South African Stroke Play Championship in 1999. Comes from a sporting family as his father Victor was an athlete and played rugby, mother Esme was active in athletics and netball, sister Michelle has represented South Africa as a sprinter, while brother Jacques represented his province at golf but is now a practising dentist in London. Had to choose between golf, rugby and cricket as a teenager at Stellenbosch University. Came through the Challenge Tour in 2000 to play a first full season on the European Tour in 2001, but lost his card and plied his trade on the Sunshine and Challenge Tours for the next 14 seasons. Earned another chance on the top tier in 2015 when he took the fourth card at the Qualifying School Final Stage.