Du Preez and Burger settle their scores on fairways

THEY may have been teammates for a memorable season in Springbok rugby this year, but on the golf course Fourie du Preez and Schalk Burger remain fierce opponents.

THEY may have been teammates for a memorable season in Springbok rugby this year, but on the golf course Fourie du Preez and Schalk Burger remain fierce opponents.

The two Springboks joined Ernie Els and England cricket legends Sir Ian Botham and Michael Vaughan as the biggest names at yesterday's official pro-am of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek outside Nelspruit, Mpumalanga.

The tournament, the first of the European Tour's 2010 season, tees off tomorrow, with Els the biggest drawcard in a field including former champion Charl Schwartzel and defending champion Richard Sterne.

But Du Preez and Burger always have their own score to settle on the fairways and yesterday's pro-am round was no different.

Playing off a 4/3 handicap, Du Preez is one of the Springbok team's leading golfers. But after losing a few matches to Burger on the recent tour to Ireland, he is quick to label the blond forward as one of the ringers in the Bok team.

"In Ireland recently, Schalk was playing of a 16/12 handicap and he shot 77 in the wind and rain, so I'm not sure what's going on with the Cape Town players. We've played with Jean de Villiers a few times and he's also a ringer," said Du Preez, who usually teams up with Danie Rossouw on the golf course.

As for Burger, whether it's pounds or rands, he's always happy to take Du Preez's money.

Du Preez certainly enjoyed his time on the fairways of the country's top-ranked golf course, and at the end of a highly successful season.

"This was probably the best year ever for Springbok rugby, what with a series victory over the British Lions and a great Tri-Nations campaign. Unfortunately the year didn't end as planned, but that's part of the game," he said. - Michael Vlismas

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