Johannesburg – South African golfer Zethu Myeki wants to be a winner on the Sunshine Ladies Tour (SLT), and 2023 may just be the year she makes the step-up.
Though she missed the cut last week at the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club where Casandra Alexander triumphed, the 29-year-old Myeki believes she is ready to make headlines.
“Last week I don’t think I played badly, it was just that you couldn’t control the weather and it was really bad. It was tough mentally thinking you’re going to do well, but then it just doesn’t happen,” Myeki said.
“Coming back to Joburg I know that I need to work on my irons because they were a bit of a let-down. I think my game now feels good so I’m looking forward to the next events.”
The SLT is in full swing with five events in as many weeks, culminating with the co-sanctioned SA Women’s Open at Steenberg Golf Club. The Joburg Open the week before is also co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour, and strong performances in those events will open a number of doors for SA players.
“I’m playing all the SLT events, on Wednesday I’m going for DiData (Dimension Data]) then it’s Cape Town and back up to Joburg. Then back to Cape Town for the SA Open,” Myeki said.
To date, Myeki has just one win in the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Mount Edgecombe, and six top-10 finishes after turning professional in 2020.
While her progression in the game has taken some time, Myeki believes her ability has never been in question.
“I’ve learnt to trust in myself. I don’t think the other players are better than me, it’s just about believing in myself and trusting the process. Things might not always go according to plan, but I just need to be patient because I am going to play well and win tournaments,” she said.
In fact, growing up in the Eastern Cape Myeki discovered the game relatively late at the age of 13.
“I started in 2007, in the Eastern Cape. I used to pass a soccer field to and from school. I saw girls hit balls there with a guy, but I was too scared to go and ask if I could go and play. Luckily one of the girls who was playing there was in my class so I asked her, and found out what to do. She then invited me to play, and I just started by hitting balls across the field and then fetching them. So that’s how I got started,” Myeki said.
“When I started golf I knew I liked it, but I never thought about it for a living until late 2014. We were invited to a professional tournament, it may have been the Zambia Open. Some amateurs were invited. I played with some of the professionals and I played better than some of them. I realised then that this could be something I’d like to do. Around then I joined the Ernie Els foundation and started playing in all the events. I was already competing against the best, so I thought why not give it (playing professionally) a chance.”
As for her goals for this season, Myeki is aiming to produce her best golf over the next month.
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“The goals for this year, is to make as many cuts as I can and get some top-10, top-20 finishes that will serve me well on the order of merit. Going forward I want to play on the Ladies European Tour and get my status on that tour. After the Sunshine Ladies Tour there aren’t a lot of tournaments for us to play,” Myeki said.
“The Joburg Open and SA Open are both co-sanctioned, so I can only try and do my best and believe in the work I’ve been doing.”
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While players like Myeki are a shining example of the talent coming through the ranks, golf remains a largely white, male, elitist sport in SA. Myeki believes development needs to keep being pushed if SA is to identify future talent.
“We don’t have many young girls who are playing this game in South Africa. It is really sad. I know Standard Bank have a development programme and that is really great, because that is how we grow the game. It’s about making sure we have as much development programmes as possible because we need those young players coming through,” Myeki said.