LIFESTYLE GOLF – STANDARD BANK SERIES SERENGETI PLAYER FEATURE
WRITTEN BY MATTHEWS MFUBU (Fullpage Media and Communications) FOR LIFESTYLE GOLF
KEMPTON PARK, – Tandi McCallum says her Standard Bank Pro-Am series win at Serengeti Golf Estates last week was long overdue and now that she’s gotten a taste of what it feels like to win again, she intends to contend for a win at each of the remaining tournaments in the series. McCallum’s final round of 73 combined with her opening 67 was enough to earn her a two-shot victory over Lindi Coetzee who won the first event at Glendower, and Nadia van der Westhuizen who is a member at Serengeti.
“I’m quite happy to finally get it done,” said McCallum. “I’m now looking forward to all of the events because now, I think, once you’ve had a taste of the win, you want more.”
She’s come close to winning a few times on this Series and last week’s victory was nothing short of spectacular as both Coetzee and Van der Westhuizen were fighting hard. And having lost out a few times before, McCallum knew that any mistakes in the final round on Friday would be costly.
“I stayed really calm out there,” she recalled. “And I just used a conversation with my playing partners to try and distract myself, and I also had my close friend Neil Homan on the bag and he was instrumental too. I tried to block out thoughts of how much I wanted to win but then towards the end, it’s in your face. You can’t avoid it and it becomes a matter of trying to control the nerves.
“ But this win is huge for me – from the point of view that I played a long time in Europe and I got into a playoff a couple of times but didn’t win and got a bunch of second places. I’ve had a lot of second places on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and two wins and I’ve been knocking on the door for so many years. A lot of the girls here call me a veteran because, they say, I’ve been around a long time. ”
“ But I don’t feel like I’ve converted as much of the opportunities that I’ve had, into wins, so it’s great to still be able to compete at the age of 36. I still have a lot of good golf in me and I think now that I’ve had this breakthrough, I can go for more and show the younger girls that I can still play. ”
“ It was tough out there and it’s a relief to finally get that breakthrough ” – Tandi McCallum
The Standard Bank Pro-Am series drives the development of female players at the grassroots level and empowers talented professional female golfers by creating opportunities for more playing time which will enable them to hone their skills further.
Despite having to fend off the chasing pack – led by Coetzee and Van der Westhuizen – McCallum was just as impressed with their effort, particularly Van der Westhuizen.
“It was tough out there and it’s a relief to finally get that breakthrough,” she said, “Nadia was playing really well and she put up a strong fight towards the end. It was exciting overall.” McCallum becomes the third first-time winner on this series this season, following in the footsteps of Coetzee and Royal Cape Golf Club’s Isabella van Rooyen who claimed victory at Atlantic Beach Links last month.