Sterne’s comeback inspired by success of contemporaries

Sam Torrance
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IF YOU ever needed an example of the importance of form, look no further than the winners of the big tournaments on both the European and PGA Tours at the weekend.

South African Richard Sterne followed his runner-up spot at the Dubai Desert Classic a week earlier by storming to a fantastic seven-shot victory in the Johannesburg Open on Sunday.

Sterne’s success is particularly remarkable because he missed almost all of the 2010 and 2011 seasons with a back injury.

It’s testament to the 31-year-old’s mental strength, because it must have been incredibly frustrating watching compatriots such as Trevor Immelman, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen do so well in his absence.

However, that can act as a huge inspiration for a young player. If you see players who you grew up with, and beat, winning Majors it only increases your hunger to go out and match them.

Over in California, meanwhile, Brandt Snedeker continued his extraordinary form with a two-shot victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

It followed consecutive runner-up spots, to Phil Mickelson at the Phoenix Open and Tiger Woods at the Farmers Insurance Open, and was his fifth top-three finish in his last eight outings.

I’m not a huge fan of Snedeker’s fiddly, fast, edgy playing style, but his form has been fantastic and he carried on in exactly that vein.

The week had started with promising signs for Scotland’s Russell Knox, who shared the lead after the first round, and although he ended tied for 28th, he looks to be another name to watch in 2013.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam