Christiaan Bezuidenhout. From stuttering and disqualification to big wins

Now Christiaan Bezuidenhout is the strongest golfer on the European Tour. A player who was not in the top 60 of the world rankings a few weeks ago won two tournaments in a row. No one has managed to do this for three years: in 2017, Justin Rose won the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Turkish Airlines Open in two weeks. Christiaan Bezuidenhout also became the strongest at home competitions in South Africa Alfred Dunhill Championship and South Africa Open. On the big stage, Christian first showed himself in June 2019, when he won the Andalucia Masters tournament and won the first European Tour title.
All this might not have happened. At the age of two, a boy in a grocery store drank rat poison, believing that there was soda in the bottle. “Because of my lightheadedness, I almost died. At the hospital, the doctors pumped the poison out of my entire stomach, but it affected the entire nervous system of my body. One of the long-term consequences was stuttering, ”recalls Christian. The boy had to cut off almost all contact with the outside world. He developed anxiety and self-doubt, he was afraid to pick up the phone or answer a question.

At some point, Christiaan Bezuidenhout became depressed, and the doctor prescribed beta-blockers to him, which were supposed to reduce anxiety. Christian started taking them at the age of 14. Throughout his junior career, the golfer took these beta blockers, but in 2014 he was randomly selected to take a doping test at the British Amateur, one of the main tournaments in amateur golf. Christian didn’t know there were illegal substances in his medicines. As a result, the International Golf Federation suspended him for two years.

“The most unpleasant thing is all the stories that I have heard from representatives of the golf industry and from those people whom I considered friends in South Africa. I was accused of using medications to improve my results and this was very upsetting for me and my family. They said all sorts of things about me, and I was known as a golfer who was barred from competition due to doping, ”Christiaan Bezuidenhout recalls.
The suspension was later reduced to nine months, and Christian turned professional in early 2015. That season, he became the first in the ranking of the South African Big Easy Tour, which was so named after the famous local golfer Ernie Els, who has a similar nickname. In 2016, he nearly won the title at the South African Open, but finished second, two strokes behind Brandon Stone. As we have already said, the first victory at the level of the European Tour was achieved in 2019, but before that Christian periodically quite successfully performed at the Challenge Tour and Sunshine Tour competitions. In 2018, in the main round of European golf, he passed the cut in 20 tournaments out of 26 and kept the participant’s card for the next season. If two years ago he never made it to the top 10, then in 2019 he was already in the top ten six times, and at the Andalucia Masters he became the champion.