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Meet SA cap Malcolm Mitchell

08 Sep 2017

SA cap Malcolm Mitchell; credit Pieter Els

Since his successful title defence in the Ekurhuleni Open last year, KwaZulu-Natal rising star Malcolm Mitchell has exploded onto the national golf scene.

Over the last 10 months he racked up 12 top 10 finishes to crack the top 10 on the South African Golf Association Open Amateur Rankings.

A tie for second in the KwaZulu-Natal Amateur 36-hole stroke play qualifier and victory in the match play at Southbroom Golf Club in August propelled Malcolm to third in the standings.

His ascension into the top five earned Malcolm his first cap for South Africa in the Fellowship Cup Test against India at Leopard Creek, where he finished the week unbeaten.

On the back of this superb performance, Malcolm was selected to represent South Africa alongside fellow KwaZulu-Natal standout Matt Saulez in two prestigious international events in Argentina this November – the Juan Carlos Tailhade Cup and the 112th Argentine Amateur Open Championship.

We caught up with Malcolm to learn more about the guy behind the big swing and big smile.

STATS BOX
Full Name: Malcolm Mark Mitchell
Date of birth: 11 December 1994
Born: Westville, KwaZulu-Natal
Residence: New Germany, KwaZulu-Natal
Golf Club: Kloof Country Club

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Won the Ekurhuleni Open two years in a row 2015 & 2016
Made my international debut for South Africa against India in the 2017 Fellowship Cup
Every one of the trophies that I have won during my golfing career

TELL US FIVE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW
I love kids
I’m a loud mouth
I love hard work
I’ve never been overseas
I’m a family man

STILL ON THE BUCKET LIST
To get the grand slam
To buy a Mercedes C63 AMG

TELL US ABOUT THE START OF YOUR GOLFING CAREER
I would have to say that my golfing career started at the age of six when we still lived in Mooi River. I would go with my dad to the golf course on Saturdays just to ride the golf cart – that was more of a highlight than hitting a golf ball.  As I improved, my attention switched from the cart to the ball.

DO YOU SET YOURSELF GOALS AND WHAT DID YOU HOPE FOR IN 2017?
At the start of every year I always set huge goals for myself.
I wanted to break into the top 10 by the end of 2017 and win as many events as possible.

WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS AND WHY?
I would have to say my role model is my coach Shaun Coetzee.  He does things professionally and always throws his full passion behind everything he says and does. My other huge role models are my mom and dad.  They are both pillar of strengths and have shown me that anything can be achieved. Finally, Tiger Woods for his will to get the ball in the hole.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESS OF YOUR GAME?
My strength is definitely my short game.  I love it when people say that my ball is dead and I hit it close from nowhere. My weakness is that I still have a lot to learn about myself on the golf course, but I view it as a positive because I am still growing as a person.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BEST AND WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCES?
My worst travel experience would have to be when I went on a school golfing trip to Sun City. We were caught in the Valley of Waves after hours and put in a holding cell until the coach and our parents arrived to bail us out.

My best travel experience was with Kyle McClatchie, Matt Saulez, Angus Ellis-Cole, Clayton Mansfield at Sun City to play the North West Open in 2017. We called ourselves the B-Team. We all stayed at the Vacation Club and that’s the place you want to be to hang out with your best mates.

TOURNAMENT OR MAJOR YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO WIN?
I would love to win all four majors but failing that I would settle for the Masters.

WHAT SONG WOULD THEY PLAY FOR YOU AT THE FIRST TEE?
I don’t have a specific song but I would have to say the louder the music the better.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE HOME COOKED MEAL?
My favourite meal is definitely a steak with my family’s famous pepper sauce.

THREE MUST-HAVE ITEMS IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON AN ISLAND?
My girlfriend – Lailaah
Suntan lotion
Coffee

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN ON WORD
Passionate

WEIRDEST THING YOU’VE EVER EATEN?
The weirdest thing that I have eaten is by far was jelly fish.  For the people that haven’t eaten jelly fish, take a shoelace, dunk it in cold water and try and eating that.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE GROWING UP?
I always wanted to be a pro golfer.  I remember telling my gran that she would not have to worry when she got old because I would look after her.

WHAT WOULD YOU ASK FOR IF YOU WERE GRANTED THREE WISHES?
To be a billionaire
To travel the world and play the best courses
To have a sports car collection

TWO THINGS YOU’RE REALLY GOOD AT?
Causing naughty trouble and making people laugh

WHO WOULD BE IN YOUR DREAM PAIRING?
My dream pairing would be Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods and Shaun Coetzee

AND IN YOUR FANTASY FOURBALL?
Trevor Noah, Connor McGregor, Tiger Woods and me.

WHICH ACTOR WOULD YOU PICK TO PLAY YOU IN A MOVIE ABOUR YOUR LIFE & WHY?
Definitely Ashton Kutcher.  I think his way of acting definitely resembles my personality.

BIGGEST FEAR?
To die a slow death

IF YOU GOT STUCK IN A LIFT FOR HOURS, WHO WOULD YOU LIKE FOR COMPANY?
Trevor Noah because you need a good laugh in a bad situation, my mom to calm me down and my girlfriend for a cuddle.

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO CLUB?
The Lob Wedge.  There is no situation to tough for The Lob Wedge.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUNGSTERS JUST STARTING THE GAME?
Whatever you put your mind to you can achieve.  Never give up through the good and the bad and make sure you have a strong support group to catch you when you fall.

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