10 May 2020

Christiaan Bezuidenhout – Spring comes early for young Bok

The temporary shutdown of professional golf as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak has come at just the wrong time for Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

The South African was in superb form having bounced back from a tough play-off loss at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January with a win in his homeland at the Data Dimensions Pro-Am.

In March 2020 he fired an opening round 7-under 65 on his Players Championship debut before all the Tours ground to an immediate halt as social distancing measures were implemented to try and stem the tide against the spread of coronavirus.

Bezuidenhout made his way back home and is now patiently waiting for the European Tour to start up again.

“I’m at home and I’m safe and well – just trying to rest, spend some time with my friends and family on facetime and train and practice as much as I can in my garden,” he said.

“I think all the golfing governing bodies have an enormous job in trying to navigate their way through this as there are so many moving parts to all the Tours.

“It’s a real shame that The Open has been cancelled this year as it’s the oldest and most famous golf event – but no doubt this will make the 2021 Open one of the best yet.”

FEATURE: Pete Cowen reveals his favourite Ryder Cup

Bezuidenhout made his Major championship debut at Royal Portrush last summer and it’s clear that the tournament made a lasting impression on him.

“It was an incredible experience,” he said. “You work all your life for moments like that and it gave me a taste for playing golf among the very best in the world.”

Bezuidenhout arrived at Portrush fresh off the back of his first win on the European Tour at one of Europe’s most famous courses – Valderrama. He took the lead after the second round and never relented, staring down home favourites Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia to win by six strokes.

“It’s been an incredible 12 months and to get my first win was amazing,” he said. “To do it with Rahm chasing me showed that I can perform under that level of pressure.”

FEATURE: Jon Rahm’s masterplan to become Spain’s greatest of all time

Winner’s Circle

Also earning a first taste of success on the European Tour last year was his compatriot Erik Van Rooyen, and Bezuidenhout knows the camaraderie among the South Africans plays an important factor in their collective, ongoing success.

“It’s so important that we have these friendships out on Tour,” he said. “You can be away for several weeks at a time so it’s great to have friends away from home. Our partners all get on great, too, so it all helps and prevents us from getting homesick too much.

“Also, I think it’s important to have a great team around you to help drive you –it’s a team effort and I am fortunate to have great people around me who inspire me every day.”

That inspiration was needed as he had to gather himself together after losing out to Lucas Herbert at Emirates Golf Club
in gut-wrenching fashion. Bezuidenhout had a one-stroke lead on the 18th but his third shot found the lake and he dropped into a play-off against the Australian. Herbert then clinched the title with a birdie on the second extra hole.

“That result taught me that every shot counts and you must never give up,” he said. “I went into the final day a few shots back and ended in a play-off. That showed me that anything can happen in golf. It was tough to lose, but that’s golf.”

He bounced back in superb fashion just a few weeks later, making an eagle on the final hole to deny George Coetzee at the Dimension Data Pro-Am and win his second title on the Sunshine Tour.

With his win, he sneaked into the top-50 on the World Ranking. As a result he punched his ticket to this year’s Masters, and he’s looking forward to a possible first trip down Magnolia Lane in November – pandemic permitted.

“It’s going to be amazing appearing at The Masters,” he said. “It’s every young golfer’s dream to appear at Augusta and I cannot wait. It’s going to be an incredibly busy back end of the season so the focus for me is to stay as fit and sharp as I can.”

Share this article
Swing Sequence

Wyndham Clark Swing Sequence

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Professional, Pete Cowen Academy One of the...

Xander Schauffele swing sequence

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Professional, Pete Cowen Academy Xander Schauffele has...

Related articles

Upbeat McIlroy Ready for US Open After Marital Reconciliation

Rory McIlroy’s upbeat mindset ahead of this week’s US Open at...

U.S. Open Preview – Who will claim the year’s third Major?

The third Major of men’s schedule gets underway this month with...

Surviving Summer – How Courses Cope With The Heat

Words: Will Kent Photography: Provided by Stuart & Getty Images The...

Kiaan Keeps On Winning – UAE’s Latest Jnr Star

Photography & words by Will Kent Eight-year-old Kiaan Maharaj has become...

Gaudet rings the changes for women’s golf

Elisa Gaudet, Founder of Women’s Golf Day, talks exclusively to Rick...

Masters Green Jacket Thief Charged

A former warehouse assistant at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia...