Golfers home in on Schwartzel

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Charl Schwartzel is the favourite at the inaugural Joburg Open that tees off at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course from this morning until Sunday.

The 22-year-old from Maccauvlei, who is on top of his game, is bound to faced stiff challenges in this R9 million tournament.

With the winner pocketing a whooping R1,4 million first prize, some of the black golfers are hoping to do well or cause an upset in the lucrative 72-hole event.

James Kamte, who is closest to challenging Schwartzel on the order of merit, said he was looking forward to the tournament, where he hopes to improve.

"My chances of winning are pretty good. My drives are perfect and I hope to do well," he said.

Thabang Simon, who has been playing well recently, said: "I'm ready for this one. I've been hitting the ball straight and I'm working hard to bring my status back. My short game is brilliant and I hope to do extremely well."

Omar Sandys, another top player, said he was looking for a sponsor to help him lift his game.

"My tee shots are good and I'm trying to get myself to the top of the order of merit. That could probably open the doors for me to acquire a sponsor."

Lali Stander, Sunshine Tour media manager, said: "Kamte is a long and straight hitter, he stands a better chance in this event."