Ernie’s Latest News – 31 January

31 Jan

Qatar has been something of a happy hunting ground for South African golfers over the 20 editions of playing this event…and so it proved again in 2017.

Our Olympian Jaco Van Zyl came within a whisker of becoming the sixth South African winner in Qatar, just losing out in a three-way playoff to Jeunghun Wang. Of course, many congrats to the young South Korean on a stunning win; he now joins an elite group of players to have won three European Tour events before their 22nd birthday…my hero Seve Ballesteros being one of them. Talking of Spaniards, congrats also to Jon Rahm who at just 22 won his first PGA TOUR event in San Diego at the weekend.

This was my best performance in a while, shooting four sub-par rounds book-ended with a pair of 68s. It was a very satisfying week, which started with my team winning the Pro Am on Wednesday. Then I rolled into Thursday with some good vibes and continued to play really nicely, especially on Sunday shooting 68 in tricky, breezy conditions. It finally felt like I had some positive momentum and was able to produce the kind of scoring that more accurately reflects how I’ve been hitting it for many, many months.

Qatar 2017 Review1

A big thank you to everyone involved in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters for putting on another great tournament. It’s always a pleasure to be there guys and, on this occasion, to help you celebrate the 20th playing of this superb event.

I’ve now got a week off at home and I’ll use that time wisely, getting some rest after three weeks on the road across three different continents, but also working on my game and my fitness before returning to PGA TOUR action at Pebble Beach. That’s always a week to look forward to, for obvious reasons. The host golf course is the wonderful Pebble Beach Golf Links, which is scheduled to stage its sixth US Open when the course celebrates its centenary in 2019. You probably don’t need me to tell you how special it is playing there! But one of the key attractions of this tournament is the fact it also rotates on two other fine layouts, Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula’s Shore Course.

So it’s probably true to say that the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am, which started in the 1930s when Bing Crosby invited a few buddies to play golf and raise some money for charity, is now one of the most popular tournaments on the golfing calendar. And it has an amazing history with a roll-call of champions that reads like a who’s who of golf – Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, Byron Nelson, Jimmy Demaret, Billy Casper, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods…do you need me to say more! Seriously, it’s a wonderful week of golf – for the fans and for the players – and fingers crossed the weather is kind to us.

Follow me on Twitter @TheBig_Easy.

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