As I watch the final days play of the Mauritius Open on the DP World tour my thoughts drift back to the Dunhill Championship in South Africa and Ockie Strydom’s first victory on the DP World Tour.
I really enjoy the coverage of the tour. I get a stream through ViaPlay (I’m in Finland for those who don’t know) and the tour provides the commentary, I assume. It is fantastic background viewing during the week. Early coverage, i.e. Thursday and Friday, is especially interesting for me as you get to see good and bad: the focus is not just on the leaders and you are not watching putting highlights only – unlike other tours that shall remain nameless.
Watching golf is incredible. Instead of jumping to advertising breaks when there is not much happening, in my stream at least, the cameras jump to the wildlife. Last weekend especially, when the course was right next to the Kruger national park was quite stunning.
But onto the main subject of this piece, Ockie Strydom, and the key takeaways for me.
Weekends are what matter
At the time of writing this has never been so true. Sami Välimäki shot a 10 under par round on the first day of the Mauritius Open this week. However, he has toiled around par for subsequent rounds and has been passed by at least 10 players.
In the Alfred Dunhill, Saturday, aka Moving Day, was dominated by Ockie. He shot a majestic 63 that pushed him to the top of the leaderboard.
You can shoot a good score after a worldie
Going into Sunday I was very suspicious of Ockie being able to hold on to the lead. It is quite unusual for a player to shoot a good round after such a phenomenal round.
I expected the South African to perhaps shoot around par – which would probably be good enough to hold on for the win. However, the player did not just hold on – he dominated. A final round 69, 3 under, gave the 37-year-old a comfortable, in-the-end, victory by two shots.
What was perhaps even more surprising was that his lead was cut dramatically by the time he reached the tenth tee after his double bogey.
You should never give up
One of the main stories about this victory was the history of Ockie Strydom. The member of the Sunshine tour had never won on the DP World tour. In 13 years as a professional, he had a couple of wins on that tour but had recorded a staggering 19 second-place finishes.
It goes to prove that you should never give up. The win will be life-changing for him. He now has a full card for the DP World Tour for the seasons. And who knows, if he finishes in the top 10 in 2023 a place on the US PGA Tour is possible.
A very solid performance that ignited over the weekend, with a fantastic and great (under the circumstances) couple of rounds proving that there is always hope if you keep on practicing and believe in yourself.