So nice to end the calendar year with two wonderful events on South African soil. The fans were absolutely incredible both weeks, so thank you to everyone for the support.
It felt like I was running out of steam just a little bit over the weekend at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, after a whirlwind few weeks of international travel, but it was great to be back at Leopard Creek. Seriously, what a venue! Hats of to Johann Rupert and his team who do such a wonderful job with this tournament. All the players say the same thing; it’s just an absolute pleasure to play there. And congrats to David Lipsky on a well-deserved victory.
The previous week’s South African Open was also a big success. As the official player-host of this wonderful championship, I want to thank the players, fans, volunteers and everyone involved, for making it such a special week. Congrats to my nephew Jovan Rebula for winning the Freddie Tait Trophy as leading amateur. And big congrats obviously to Louis Oosthuizen, a great win for him and an emotional win, too. You saw in his speech what this historic tournament means to us South African players and it’s such a proud moment in your career when you win your national open in front of all those home fans.
So anyway, we’re all done for 2018 on the golfing front. We’re now into our traditional vacation here in South Africa, a chance for me to relax and recharge the batteries, catch up with old friends and spend quality time with the family. It’s special time of the year.
We’ll pick things up again early in the New Year when I’ll tee it up in the 30th anniversary edition of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, one of my favourite stops on the European Tour. All in all, I’m really excited about 2019. I still have a big passion for the game. I feel good physically. I’m swinging it well and the putter feels good, too. I’m 50 in October and I know it’s close to that time when a golfer has to move on. But…not quite yet! I’m going to give it absolutely 100 per cent commitment, as I always do, and see if we can catch some form on the European Tour and PGA TOUR.
Meanwhile, our first Els for Autism South Africa fundraiser golf day of the 2019 series has already taken place. The venue was San Lameer, a golf course in immaculate condition and blessed on the day with beautiful weather. Another strong turnout, a total of 94 players, had a wonderful day I’m told. Many thanks to Meyer Du Toit, his wife Vicky, and the rest of the staff who did an unbelievable job hosting us. And congrats to winners Ryan Ringo and Paul Tedder.
That’s it for now, then. It just leaves me to say a huge thank you to all the fans out there who continue to support me online or wherever in the world I’m teeing it up. Honestly, it means a lot. I send my best wishes to you all for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.
Thank you also to my sponsors and partners. In many cases, we’ve been together a long while now. New or old, though, these are professional relationships that I continue to cherish and enjoy. I look forward to us all working together again in 2019.
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