Elvis and Hugo hope for jackpot at Wild Coast

With a caddie named Elvis on his bag, Western Cape professional Jean Hugo is expecting to make music again at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club this week as he goes in search of his second win in as many weeks on this layout in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour.

Only six days ago, Hugo ended a five-year win drought with his victory in a touring pro-am event here.

It’s been the perfect warm up for this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour event, which tees off on Wednesday and finishes on Friday, as Hugo decided to stay here rather than return home before the start of this event.

“I’ve played a lot of golf here over the past few days,” Hugo said on the eve of the first round. “The guys I’m staying with have also been doing a bit of fishing, so it’s been quite relaxing.” Hugo is one of the favourites this week, with Desvonde Botes the other major contender.

Botes is aiming for a place in the history books of South African professional golf as he goes in search of a third consecutive win in this series after victories in the Pretoria and Pezula tournaments.

Three straight wins would be a record for this series and the first hat-trick of victories in recognised Order of Merit tournaments on the winter leg of the Sunshine Tour in at least the last 14 years.

Botes was also the man who beat Hugo in a playoff for the Pretoria title.

And Thomas Aiken completes the list of golfers with a fondness for this popular pro-am series celebrating the origins of the game of golf. Aiken won three of the six events last year, and is back in South Africa after a stint on the Nationwide Tour and a failed attempt at qualifying for the US Open.

But a lot hangs on the temperamental nature of this par-70 layout, where the wind can dismantle some of the best swings in the game.

“When the wind doesn’t blow then it’s not that difficult a course.
But this entire layout is built around the wind,” said Hugo.

“The short holes [six of them] are incredibly good so you would look to come through those at level par. The rough is also quite lush so you need to keep the ball in play. And you have to accept that you are going to face some strange putts on these greens.” -Sapa

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