Christiaan Bezuidenhout will return to Portush a happy man for the Open Championship in a couple of weeks time, five years after receiving a ban there for the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs.

For the Andalucia Masters champion it's just the latest twist in a truly remarkable life story.



It all dates back to 23 years ago when as a child Bezuidenhout drank from what he thought was a bottle of Coke he had found that was actually rat poison.  After being rushed to hospital doctors managed to save his life but his nervous system had been irreparably damaged.  It left him with a lifelong stutter and would see him battle nerves and anxiety from the age of four.



So much so that from a young age Bezuidenhout was being prescribed beta blockers by his doctor to calm his symptoms. Despite always declaring his medication at golf events, the South African failed a drugs test at the 2014 British Amateur in Portrush drawing criticism that he used drugs to enhance his performance. Bezuidenhout did however manage to reduce his two year ban to nine months on appeal but he still had to endure the wrath of those who knew nothing of his condition.

Fast forward to Valderrama, where despite admitting final round nerves, the 25 year old won by a crushing six shots from a five man tie for second.

For Bezuidenhout let's hope that following the 2019 Open Championship Portush holds only happy memories.

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