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Coetzee hoping for more magic as he seeks third win in a row

Coetzee hoping for more magic as he seeks third win in a row

Portugal Masters champion George Coetzee says he is hoping for more magic as he seeks to win for a third consecutive week

George Coetzee

George Coetzee secured his fifth European Tour title - and his first in Europe - during last week's Portugal Masters, holding off a chasing pack that included Tommy Fleetwood for a two shot victory.

It was Coetzee's second win in as many weeks, having claimed the Sunshine Tour's Titleist Championship by four shots, and the South African said the victory had been something of a relief.

"I’m definitely quite happy and relieved to have pulled it off last week," he said.

"I think it was just all round (last week), from technical aspects of my swing, to short game, to putting, to driving well, to keeping my head.

"After Friday’s round of golf I think we were seven shots behind, so I wasn’t really happy or feeling like we had any real chance of making a run at the event. I did kind of get my head into a better space that evening I felt and after that it was just going with the flow.

"I’ll wait another four more weeks (until I celebrate). Unfortunately, the bubble stuff isn’t great for that, but when I get home it will be much better (celebrations)."

An equally impressive factor in Coetzee's victory was that it marked his first start on the European Tour since posting back to back top tens at both the Oman Open and Qatar Masters, the two final events prior to the pause in the schedule to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coetzee, who skipped both the two Austrian events and the UK Swing, instead chose to remain in South Africa and restart his season on the Sunshine Tour, recording a missed cut and a runner-up finish before the start of his winning run. It turned out to be an fruitful decision.

"I picked the right time to come out. I think the bubble is a little better when you are in Portugal and it’s sunny outside with nice swimming pools. But I’m here to work and enjoy my golf."

He now tees up this week at a course designed by the late, great Seve Ballesteros, and although it presents a new challenge for European Tour professionals, Coetzee was quick to draw comparisons with a course where he's had previous success.

"New week, new golf course. It’s not a golf course I know so I’m just checking it out now for the first time, but I’m really enjoying it. Hopefully I’ll have some more of the Portuguese magic this week and pull off another one, but I guess that’s golf, you never know.

"I must say there are some golf courses with similar layouts back home. There is a golf course called Simola that has an almost identical feel to it. I’ve got good memories of Simola so hopefully that will help this week."

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