Dylan Naidoo is in the field for the Kit Kat Group Pro-Am that starts in Johannesburg on Friday. His career is on the up after a recent successful trip to the US. Picture: CARL FOURIE/SUNSHINE TOUR
Dylan Naidoo is in the field for the Kit Kat Group Pro-Am that starts in Johannesburg on Friday. His career is on the up after a recent successful trip to the US. Picture: CARL FOURIE/SUNSHINE TOUR

Sunshine Tour professional Dylan Naidoo will tee up in Friday’s first round of the Kit Kat Group Pro-Am at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club somewhat jet-lagged, but with a clear vision regarding his future in the game.

Naidoo has just returned from the US where he managed to secure conditional playing privileges on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour of Canada after finishing tied ninth in their qualifying school, which was played at The Club At Weston Hills in Florida at the end of February.

It is a huge step forward for the 23-year-old, who turned pro in 2019 as one of GolfRSA’s top amateur talents and a national squad member, who in his first season on the Sunshine Tour finished third in the Rookie of the Year race behind winner Garrick Higgo and second-placed Wilco Nienaber.

“It’s really exciting and  nice to know that I have it in me and have that experience now of playing in a different setting with new players. It gives me confidence for what I’m trying to do with my career,” said Naidoo, who will play the following seven tournaments on the Sunshine Tour before returning to the US to play on the Mackenzie Tour.

“I want to be the best golfer in the world. I want to be playing on the PGA Tour and European Tour. I feel like this will open my eyes a lot and I’ll probably learn some hard lessons along the way. But it’s the way to go for me.”

Naidoo made the decision to go overseas when the Sunshine Tour was postponed at the start of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I figured I can either stay here or try and find something to play overseas. Then the US decided  to implement travel restrictions and not allow South Africans into the country from the end of January. So I had to scramble and get myself over there before these restrictions. I managed to get my things together and left on  January 28. Fortunately I already had a 10-year visa. I left on the Thursday, arrived in the US on Friday, and from that Saturday they closed the borders to South Africans.” 

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