By: Craig Stirton
If he stays present throughout and minimizes the unforced errors, Virgil Foster may well emerge victorious in the Canon Gauteng Open at Zwartkop Country Club.
These may appear to be two pretty big “Ifs”. After two Canon Open Series appearances, however, Foster has proven that he has the game for the big occasion.
In both the Cape Town Disabled Open hosted by The City of Cape Town and the Canon Port Elizabeth Open, Foster played his way into the final group. An opening round of 84 in Cape Town earned him his first appearance in a final group at a disabled golf event. While Foster ultimately finished 4th in Cape Town, he finished T-2 at Uitenhage Golf Club a few weeks later.
These performances are indicative of a player brimming with confidence. What’s more, the Les Autres golfer hinted that he may have only scratched the surface of his potential.
“I’ve tinkered with my swing for as long as I can remember. Of late, I’ve been feeling like I’m on the cusp of playing great golf but too many unforced errors prevent me from this,” says Foster.
The desire for self-improvement Foster possesses now is in stark contrast to the mentality of his youth as he candidly illustrates.
“I was born in a small coloured township in Soweto called Noordgesig before we moved to Eldorado Park when I was 10.
“Our schools only had track and field events but I was a lazy youngster and was never inspired to do any of those events.”
A motorcycle accident at the age of 23 left Foster with a fused left leg but, more importantly, it set him on the path to the success he is now enjoying.
Though he’d played the game occasionally when he was younger, it was in his mid-twenties that Foster bought golf clubs and a bag and gave the game a proper go.
Today, he is a stalwart of the South African Disabled Golf Association having joined in 2002.
One of the better disabled golfers in Gauteng, Foster has participated in multiple SADGA Provincial Challenges – an event he covets.
“The Provincial Challenge is the ultimate team competition for us. I love playing in it and enjoy the camaraderie and spirit it’s played in.
“I always work very hard to make the team.”
Playing in the Provincial Challenge multiple times takes some doing. As does finishing in the top-5 in consecutive Canon Open Series events.
In fine form and armed with intimate knowledge of Zwartkop Country Club, what stands between Virgil Foster and victory in the Canon Gauteng Open? A golfer’s familiar foe…
“My mind needs to be stronger. Staying more focused and ‘in the moment’ at the Open will definitely put me in the running for First-Place.”
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images