No better way in for Michael

Thursday, February 23, 2012 (14:21)

Michael Hollick finished tied eighth at the Dimension Data Pro-Am on Sunday, which was the perfect confidence boost as he heads into the Sunshine Big Easy Tour season.

“Di-Data was awesome – for me it was a great introduction to the professional lifestyle. I’m sure the events aren’t all that big, but it was nice to pay that event and to play so well there. It seems to all be coming together at the right time,” he said.

The rookie gave Fancourt a run for its money and finished the R3,5-million tournament at six-under-par, matching the likes of James Kingston and England’s Simon Wakefield.

Hollick earned his Sunshine Tour card when he finished tied 26th at QSchool, shaving it a bit closer than he would have liked. But the 24-year-old displayed far better form at the weekend and displayed some big game temperament with a final-round 69 at the Montagu course.

The Mount Edgecombe Country Club professional played a round at each of the Montagu, Outeniqua and The Links courses, ahead of the cut and a final round at Montagu. He carded rounds of 71,71,72 before closing with that impressive 69.

The youngster teed off alongside Branden Grace, who recently won two European Tour events. Grace may be just 23 years old, but the value of playing with such a successful young gun was not lost on Hollick. “I had the priviledge of playing with Branden on Sunday. We played a lot of junior golf together and it as good for the confidence to see what he has achieved,” he said.

His share of eighth also secured entry to the Telkom PGA Championship, which saw George Coetzee claim victory when he was 24. Hollick heads into the event with every opportunity to take on the big boys of once again, including Jbe Kruger, who is fresh off his maiden European Tour win – he took Avantha Masters by two strokes at the weekend.

The experience he has, and will, gain from competing alongside such successful young players will not only drive him, but will inspire him to up his game. As such he will enter the Big Easy Tour’s season opener at Houghton with the drive to win. And the Big Easy Tour will be there to nurture him along the path to success.

What he took away from the Dimension Data Pro-Am was more than a pay cheque – it was an inspirational experience and the perfect buildup for his Big Easy Tour season.