GQEBERHA, Eastern CapeÂ – Christiaan Basson has won before in the strong winds of the Eastern Cape in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series, claiming the St Francis Links title in 2015, and the 39-year-old is hoping this weekâ€™s event at Humewood Golf Club will be the one in which he â€œmakes it countâ€ and finally throws off the momentum-stopping effects of the Covid pandemic on his career.
Basson had enjoyed his best finish since 2011 on the Sunshine Tour order of merit, inside the top-20 in 2019/20 before Covid hit, and he hasnâ€™t quite been able to recapture the same consistency in the last two seasons. He finished 38thÂ in 2020/21 and is currently 43rdÂ in the standings for this season.
The arrival of twins for Basson and his wife last year lessened the blow of his career being disrupted, but he is now itching to get back into contention and try and claim his fifth Sunshine Tour title.
â€œYes, Covid definitely disrupted my golf, but it came at a good time for me to help my wife because we had twins just before the virus arrived. So they were in nappies through Covid and it was nice to have that family time together. But in terms of golf it put a bit of a stop on my progress and I havenâ€™t really done well after Covid.
â€œIâ€™m positive about my game, itâ€™s trending in the right direction, but Iâ€™m also keen to make one or two tournaments really count now,â€ Basson said.
Born in Strand, raised in Cape Town and now living there as a member of Metropolitan Golf Club, Basson is obviously at home in the strong winds that are expected to buffet the Humewood seaside links with increasing ferocity when the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series tees off on Thursday.
â€œIâ€™m happy with these conditions and I think it suits my game. Itâ€™s been a while since Iâ€™ve played in such a strong wind though. You know how to do things in conditions like this, but you still need to get sharp beforehand. You canâ€™t really practise for wind when there is no wind.
â€œBut I like the conditions and the challenge. Youâ€™ve just got to be solid around here and keep the big mistakes off your card. You have to accept that youâ€™re going to make one or two bogeys, especially into the wind,â€ Basson said.
It is a problem that Basson is well-equipped to solve. He has the knowledge of winning at the St Francis Bay Links 100km west of Humewood and, now in his 15thseason on the Sunshine Tour, he has plenty of experience of coastal conditions.