When he played the Eye of Africa PGA Championship as a rookie last year, Clinton Groblerâ€™s aim was to make the cut and build a strong-enough base that he could keep his Sunshine Tour playing privileges.
He didnâ€™t only make the cut that week but was the leading rookie at the end of the tournament, finishing in an impressive share of 11th.
â€œLast year was good here,â€ admitted Grobler who sits fourth on the Rookie of the Year race after 16 tournaments, â€œI found that you have to be pretty straight off the tee here. I like a course where you have to hit it straight, and having the PGA guys here many of whom I knew, was also good. It was nice for me to finish the way I did because I played well in the week.â€
His ambition is no longer to play for his card now as he makes his second appearance here as a professional.
â€œMy aim was just to keep my card,â€ he says ahead of this year edition which tees off on Thursday at the Eye of Africa Signature Golf Estate, â€œand now the aim is a little bit higher than just keeping my card. I want to finish in the top 30 on the Order of Merit and itâ€™s possible with the next couple of events that are coming up. They are big events and this week is another chance for me to climb up and finish a little bit better.â€
He lies 51st on the Order of Merit and a few results similar to the share of 11th he got here last year or the second-place finish he got at Humewood in September last year, will surely take him there and he believes heâ€™s got what it takes to move even higher up that Order of Merit before the season ends.
â€œI feel much better than last week (at the SA Open),â€ he admits, â€œIâ€™ve been on holiday for quite a long time and it wasnâ€™t that great for my game. But, Iâ€™ve been practising hard this week and hopefully, it will show. Iâ€™ve done some adjustments on the grips of my clubs and hitting some nice butter-cuts, so, hopefully, it will show this week. I want to finish better than last year, a top 10 would be nice