Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport

Bezuidenhout hoping to find swing, form at Joburg Open

The man to beat though might be Thriston Lawrence, who's coming off a good showing in Dubai last week.

Former SA Open champion Christiaan Bezuidenhout is hoping familiar surroundings will help him get over a lean patch when he tees it up at the Joburg Open at Houghton Golf Club on Thursday.

Bezuidenhout was the talk of the town a few years ago when in good stretch from late 2019 and through 2020 he won three times on the DP World Tour, capturing the Andalucia Masters, the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the SA Open.

He also won the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour in the same period and also finished as runner-up at the Dubai Desert Classic in early 2020.


Bezuidenhout also threatened a few times on the PGA Tour, but his game went a bit cold, and he is now hoping things will come together this week, after finishing tied third at this tournament a year ago.

“I’ve made a few changes in my team and started with a new coach about six months ago … and I had to make quite a few changes to my swing to get a little more consistency in my ball-striking, so I’m working through a few things,” said Bezuidenhout on the eve of the tournament, which starts Thursday.

“But, I always feel comfortable playing in South Africa, and knowing the weather, and the grass and the style of courses.

“I’ve always been a fan of Houghton and the course looks the best I’ve ever seen it. I’m looking forward to a great week.”

Another big motivator for Bezuidenhout this week is the fact he will be teeing it up in a tournament for the first time on home soil as a father.

“We welcome our son John about three weeks ago,” said Bezuidenhout. “It’s nice to be back in South Africa and to see friends and family again … and all the friendly faces on the Sunshine Tour.”

Man to beat?

This week’s field includes nine former champions of the event, including former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel as well as Branden Grace and Thriston Lawrence, who probably goes into the event as the man to watch.

Lawrence won the title in 2021 for his first big win and he followed that up with further DP World Tour wins at the European Masters, the SA Open and the BMW International Open.

Also, Lawrence is coming off a strong showing at the DP World Tour final in Dubai last week where he finished in a tie for fifth on 17-under-par.

“This is the tournament that changed my life and gave me the opportunities to get me to where I am today,” said Lawrence.

“It’s also nice to see so many former champions come back to play this week so I’m looking forward to the week.” ends

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