South Africans keen to maintain their dominance on home patch

Locals have won nine of the last 12 European Tour events on home soil

 Justin Walters: one of the strong home contingent looking for success in the Africa Open which begins today at East London in the Eastern Cape. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Justin Walters: one of the strong home contingent looking for success in the Africa Open which begins today at East London in the Eastern Cape. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

 

South African players will look to continue their remarkable dominance of events on home soil in this week’s Africa Open at East London.

George Coetzee’s victory in the Joburg Open on Sunday means nine of the last 12 European Tour events staged in South Africa have been won by home players, with all four previous Africa Opens won by South Africans.

And although Coetzee will not be in East London after withdrawing from the event in order to prepare for next week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Justin Walters is just one of his compatriots aiming to make the most of home advantage.

Walters finished joint second behind Coetzee last week, the 33-year-old sharing the lead with another South African, Thomas Aiken, going into the final round but struggling to a closing 73.

“Any time you start to feel a bit of form you want to continue,” said Walter.

At 6,632 yards, East London Golf Club is very short by modern standards, with strong coastal winds its major defence. Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen won with a total of 27 under par in 2012.

South African Darren Fichardt lifted the title 12 months ago, finishing two shots ahead of compatriot Jaco van Zyl and France’s Gregory Bourdy.

A five-strong Irish contingent includes Michael Hoey, Damien McGrane, Gareth Maybin, Kevin Phelan and David Higgins.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.