Omar Sandys has been a professional golfer since 1999 and despite having played with professionals who have gone on to win titles both locally and abroad, he, himself has never won an official tournament. A fact he says only motivates him further. – Sunshine Tour
“Many guys who turned pro with me in 1999 are champions,” Sandys says, acknowledging players like Jean Hugo and Trevor Immelman among others, “but I am not stressing. I have faith in the higher power and I know my win is around the corner.”
His misfortune is not for the lack trying though, because while he has 17 top-10 finishes in his career on the professional tour, Sandys has been runner-up eight times, the most recent being when he came second at the Sun Fish River Sun Challenge last month.
“Golf is cruel,” he says of the many times he fell short of victory. “But, I keep pushing and I keep positive despite the challenges.” And through the struggles and experience on the Sunshine Tour, Sandys says he now has more reason to feel motivated.
“I took a decision two years ago to stop playing golf,” Sandys says, “but now there came the Gary Player programme. For me it has been a massive help.”
The Gary Player Class of 2017 is the Sunshine Tour’s main development squad for previously disadvantaged professional golfers and benefits from the longstanding and continued support of the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB), that was founded in 1999 as the official body for golf development in South Africa, as well as the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation (EEFF) in the collective effort to use golf to improve the lives of disadvantaged South Africans.
“I was not going to be able to play this year if there was no Gary Player Class of 2017-18,” Sandys says, “so to me it is something serious. It is a legacy for my kids and the future.”
Sandys badly wants a win but is under no illusion about the type of quality the players on both the Sunshine and the Big Easy Tour. “Yes, I want to win, seriously. But I know the competition is serious. Even on the Big Easy, things are tough there. The young guys coming in are playing like they have been here for a long time so, it is always tough and exciting.”
In a career stretching at least 15 years and counting, Sandys knows every tournament he plays in is an opportunity for him to achieve that elusive victory. And, the next such opportunity will be in Sishen this week when he tees it up in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event.