“Best weeks of career”
Golf talent Bachem surprisingly wins
03/27/2023 8:14 am
Cologne golf pro Nick Bachem celebrates his first victory on the DP World Tour in Johannesburg. The 23-year-old prevailed after four rounds of the 1.5 million US dollar tournament with a four-stroke lead over the local heroes Zander Lombard and Hennie du Plessis.
First surfing, then winning: Cologne golf pro Nick Bachem has just had “the best two weeks” of his professional career – and that’s not just due to his surprising first tournament success on the DP World Tour in Johannesburg. “Last week I went surfing every day, and now winning here is just a dream,” said the 23-year-old in a Sky interview.
The Rhinelander, who celebrated his first victory in the “premier league” of golf in just the twelfth attempt on Sunday, is only too happy to swap the iron for the board. He found plenty of waves last week at the tournament in St. Francis Bay/South Africa – and was happier about that than about the respectable 18th place. Bachem had to leave his board in the corner in Johannesburg, but it worked all the better on the green. On the final loop he kept his nerves, won easily with a four-stroke lead over the local heroes Zander Lombard and Hennie du Plessis and pocketed around 235,000 euros in prize money.
“In general it’s still a dream to even play on the tour,” said the rookie modestly. He shows a steep learning curve. Two weeks ago at the Kenya Open in Nairobi, he was still in second place at halftime – and then slipped out of the top 50. A trauma did not remain. On Sunday he was “relatively nervous before the first tee”, but he shook off a shot into the bunker right on the first hole and saved the par. And after three birdies in a row on holes two to four, Bachem was sure: “It could be something today.”
“It feels great and unreal,” Bachem said. “On the last green I knew I could afford five putts and still win. I definitely enjoyed it.” The general upswing among German golfers also helped him, just a month ago his buddy Marcel Siem won in New Delhi ahead of Yannick Paul. The Germans often train together and compete, Bachem said: “And when you see someone winning a tournament or playing for a win that you beat in training, you believe it’s possible.”