Cautious Ahlers playing it safe for LIV Golf Promotions glory

(Abu Dhabi Golf Club – 7 December 2023) South Africa’s Jaco Ahlers is hoping his methodical approach to golf will reap big rewards and help him follow in the illustrious footsteps of some big-name compatriots on the LIV Golf League, as he tees it up in the LIV Golf Promotions event in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

Ahlers automatically qualified for the innovative four-round, three-day event which takes place from 8-10 December at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, thanks to a sensational tournament win on the Asian Tour at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters in September.

With cuts on day one and day two leaving only a top 20 for the final-day shootout, many players may feel the need for a more aggressive approach than normal around the iconic National course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Ahlers admits that’s just not his game, and the 11-time Sunshine Tour winner is not keen on making any radical changes – even for a weekend that offers such rewards.

Ahlers, who also claimed a T3 finish at the St Andrews Bay Championship on The International Series this season, said: “Me and my caddie were talking about it, I don’t want to change the game plan. I’m not the most aggressive player but I can still shoot good around this course without aggression.

“Yes, there will be some instances where I will be more aggressive than normal. But think about it, I just need to finish 15, 15, 3 – I wouldn’t have to finish (top of the leaderboard) every time, I just have to give myself a chance on Sunday. I just want to play solid and as good as we can and hopefully that is good enough.”

Ahlers tees off first at 8am (local time) on Friday morning alongside Seungsu Han and Suteepat Prateeptienchai, and he has already had the inside line on life at LIV Golf from his compatriots playing on the all-South African Stinger GC team; Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and Dean Burmester.

“I had a chat about coming here last week, Charl and Dean were playing the last two weeks in South Africa, and they were very supportive. We all know what LIV Golf is about, it is a game changer, making golf exciting and getting more younger people into the game. It is potentially life changing, so it is a no-brainer to be honest.

“Of course this whole week it has got my mind going, about what it going to be like and how I should try to play round by round. It is a little nerve wracking to be honest, but in the end you have to trust the process, trust the game and see what happens. I believe I’m good enough to do it, and I just have to go from there.”