Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Ockie Strydom at the 2015 Tshwane Open  (Getty Images)
Ockie Strydom at the 2015 Tshwane Open (Getty Images)
The Tshwane Open will be held at the Pretoria Country Club in South Africa for the second time this week, with George Coetzee returning to defend his title. We look back at the best moments from the 2015 edition to find out what it takes to be successful in the last of the early-season South African tournaments.
 
How to play…the front nine
There are a few players who might claim to have a handle on the front nine at Pretoria CC, but not many can say they’ve had an eagle and a hole-in-one in the same round. That is unless you are Morten Ørum Madsen.

The Dane also bagged two birdies and a bogey during his first round, but without question it was his ace on the eighth that was the highlight. Madsen made the most of the 135-yard par three for his first European Tour hole-in-one, before closing with an eagle at the next hole, the 549-yard par five.

How to play…the back nine

Six birdies on the last nine holes of any tournament takes some doing. Just ask Ockie Strydom. The South African quietly went about his business in the first round in 2015, finishing with a score of 66, due in no small part to that fabulous showing on the back nine.

Strydom made birdies on ten and 11, before doing the same on the 468-yard par four 13th. A bogey on the 14th was swiftly brushed aside with three birdies in a row, allowing him to lay claim to having notched the most birdies on the back nine throughout all four rounds. Strydom finished in a share of 23rd place and returns to Pretoria this week.

 
How to play…around the green
Darren Clarke proved during the second round last year that good scores can still be made even when you don’t hit the green with your approach. The 2016 European Ryder Cup Captain chipped from a slight slope on to the green at the par five ninth, then watched as the ball rolled into the cup for a sumptuous eagle.

The Northern Irishman displayed his chipping prowess again on the following hole. Positioned even further from the pin, Clarke perfectly read the left-to-right break to send the ball in for his third birdie of the day.

How to…set the course record

Jacques Blaauw may not have claimed his first European Tour win at the event last year, but he could not have done much more in his final round of 61. Not only did he run eventual winner George Coetzee incredibly close, but he also became the joint holder of the course record.

His round of 13 under was flawless, and he expertly birdied each of the last four holes of the front nine. Coetzee finished one shot clear, but there’s no doubt that a piece of history belonged to Blaauw.

 
 
 

 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1SCHWARTZEL, CharlRSA18-16
2WINTHER, JeffDEN18-8
3MICHAEL, AnthonyRSA18-6
T4WALTERS, JustinRSA18-5
T4STERNE, RichardRSA18-5
T4BURMESTER, DeanRSA18-5

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