BELEK – Victory by Siya Kolisi’s Springboks in the Rugby World Cup final over England has now given the country’s golfers competing on the European a Tour a new-found “winning mentality”.
“The guys were so, so inspiring, and have got us thinking if they can top the world so can we,” says Christiaan Bezuidenhout ahead of the tour’s three big-money “Final Series” events of the 2019 season, this week’s Turkish Airlines Masters starting on Thursday at Royal Maxx Montgomerie, next week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City and the season-ending DP World Tour Challenge in Dubai after that.
“We – and by we I mean all the South African and England professionals who were in China last week for the WGC Championship – watched the game together on television in the Intercontinental Hotel in Shanghai. With hangers on, there were about 100 of us and so much banter and shouting going on. And the English guys, led by Justin Rose, were making a bunch of noise at least to begin with.
“But Siya and the boys soon shut them up. What a win for the Boks! And now we’re feeling if the rugby players can do it so can we,” added Bezuidenhout who has played exceptionally well this year, winning the Analucia Masters for his debut European Tour win, a breakthrough success matched in 2019 by compatriots Justin Harding in the Qatar Masters, and Erik van Rooyen in the Scandinavian Invitational.
“I’m still tingling from what our guys did in Japan and, yes, we have all been inspired by the Boks,” said Van Rooyen in Turkey Tuesday. Richard Sterne agreed, revealing with a smirk that he had won "a bunch of bets" with players and caddies alike from the English contingent in China.