Pros advice

Oliver Bekker ready to make his US Open debut

South African golfer Oliver Bekker will make his debut among the world’s top players in the second major of the year, the US Open.

The 32-year-old has won six times on the Sunshine Tour, and is preparing for the biggest tournament of his life when he tees off at the 117th US Open at Erin Hills on Thursday.

Born in Pretoria, Bekker is one of four South African’s to have played their way into the US Open field after qualifying at the US Open Sectional Qualifiers at Walton Heath last month.

Bekker produced the best finish of his countrymen, which ended in a tie for fifth to seal one of the 15 available slots.

"I'm very excited about playing in the US Open. Everything is bigger over here. The crowds are huge, and noisy, so it's different to playing in Europe or South Africa," Bekker told Sport24.

Bekker has four top-5 finishes in his past five starts, including two wins in the Sunshine Tour's Zambia Sugar Open and Lombard Insurance Classic.

"I'm probably playing some of the best golf of my career at the moment, so I think that's very fortunate for me going into this week," said Bekker.

"I think the first goal is to make the cut, but the way things have been going for me lately I wouldn't take anything off the table!"

However, Bekker admits he isn’t that familiar with the Erin Hills course, which could prove troublesome as the event unfolds.

"I don't know much about the course... The greens look pretty small, with plenty of run offs. To do well you will need to be on top of every aspect of your game," said Bekker.

"I think I will need to keep it in play from the tee from there I can give myself a chance to score. Wayward tee shots will definitely be punished this week and putting is always crucial at a US Open."




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