JOHANNESBURG – Eleven months ago little-known Chris Paisley added his name to the illustrious list of South African Open winners when he edged out Branden Grace for the title at Glendower. He’s back to defend this week but he’ll be without his “lucky charm” - his wife Keri, who carried his bag last time out at the tournament.
Also, the tournament has moved from Glendower to Randpark, where it tees off today with 240 players looking to win one of the most prestigious titles in South African golf.
Paisley only got a look at the two courses at Randpark - Bushwillow and Firethorn - this week so he’ll pretty much be going in blind today and tomorrow when the players have to play a round each on the two courses, and he also admitted it was a pity Keri wasn’t on his bag this week.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen the courses but we’ve worked out our strategy,” said a relaxed Paisley yesterday. “And it’s a bit of a shame Keri isn’t here this week, but we’ve got a little baby girl at home who’s only six weeks old, so it was way too soon for Keri to travel.
“If the tournament was in January, like earlier this year, I think we would have made a plan. But it’s great for me that I have Sean Russell back on the bag; we’ve got a great relationship and have been together for four years now.”