Sterne shares second at St Andrews 11th October 2016 | Sunshine Tour

Sterne shares second at St Andrews

Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - Day FourIt is said that in golf, and indeed other sports, that nobody remembers who finished second.

South Africa’s Richard Sterne will dispute this. He certainly won’t forget his joint second place in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the Home of Golf yesterday. The six-time winner on the European Tour closed with a six-under-par 66 at St Andrews to share the runner-up spot on 19-under-par 269 with England’s Ross Fisher.

“It was just one of those tournaments when one guy (in this case Tyrrell Hatton) ran away with it,” said Sterne, referring to the maiden European victory by the Englishman, who also signed for a 66 to finish on 23-under-par 265.

And Sterne will forever remember his birdie three yesterday at the tortuous Road Hole 17th, possibly the toughest par-4 in all of golf.

He hit his drive slightly left into the rough, a common landing place for the golfers as the Old Course Hotel and out-of-bounds lurk ominously on the right.

“You have to play safe on this hole to keep the big numbers off the card, so I laid up short of the green as I didn’t want to risk hitting it a bit too strong and ending up on the road because then you’re in deep trouble,” said Sterne.

The little South African faced a chip shot of about 50 metres, and – like a detective looking for clues – he walked up onto the green, carefully examining slope and possible speed. He chose a sand-wedge for the shot and then executed to perfection, his golf ball finding the back of the cup for a spectacular three, as the many fans watching at greenside and in the Alfred Dunhill Pavillion  – including is wife Lise-Marie – yelled their approval for a birdie to end all birdies.

The 35-year-old Sterne, owner of six European Tour wins, has experienced extremely tough times because of injuries but has, he says, never worked harder on his health or his golf than this year. So he feels this strong showing, which earns him the equivalent of R5,5-million (Hatton picks up a shade of R10-million in terms of SA currency), is a reward for the work put in and a huge boost for his career. And importantly for him, it moves him up from 72nd in the 2016 Race to Dubai into the top 30, guaranteeing him a spot in the European Tour’s season-ending big-money events in November, the Turkish Airlines Open, the Nedbank Golf Challenge, and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. He also gets into this week’s British Masters.

“I hit the ball so well this week, putted really well and made a lot of good-up-and-downs, some for par, some for birdie. The last two rounds in this tournament are played at St Andrews and I didn’t make a single drop shot in those rounds which is pretty satisfying.”

The highlight of Tyrrell’s week was a record-equaling 10-under-par 62 on the Old Course on Saturday’s third, and at 24 he looks to have a very bright future in golf.

A little lower down the order South Africa’s Jbe Kruger also signed for a splendid 66 yesterday which elevated him into the top 15 on 11-under 277 and earned him the equivalent of R900 000.

Compatriots George Coetzee and Jaco Ahlers cracked the top 25 on 279, both after 69s, although Ahlers was gutted to double-bogey the 17th which cost him 10 places and a bucket-load of cash.


Sun Fish River Challenge: What you need to know 10th October 2016 | Sunshine Tour

Sun Fish River Challenge: What you need to know

This week the Sun Fish River Sun Challenge is the focus on the Sunshine Tour, and the 54-hole event tees off on Wednesday 12 October at the beautiful Fish River Sun Country Club. It’s the fifth of six tournaments in the 2016 Sun International series of events.

Rourke van der Spuy won the 2015 edition when he defeated Merrick Bremner by a single stroke. Van der Spuy comes into a title-defending week on the back of some mixed results. Since his share of third at the Investec Royal Swazi Open, he has made five out of 10 cuts, with a best finish coming at the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge in a share of seventh.

Sun Fish River Challenge: What you need to know 3

WHO TO WATCH:

Ruan de Smidt is proving to be a genuine title contender week-in week-out. Arguably the most inform player on tour since the Sun Internatinal events teed off, de Smidt has racked up two victories and five top-10s in his last nine outings.

Sun Fish River Challenge: What you need to know 2

He will hope that his two victories on the Sunshine Tour this season – which both came at Sun International events – will be motivation to finish the season in the top-10 in the Order of Merit.

Danie van Tonder is still looking for his first win on tour this season and he will offer some serious competition. Six top-10 finishes in his last 10 tournaments, which include the third-place finish at Humewood, put him right up there with the best.

Another player to watch will be Titch Moore. Having finished in a share of seventh at Simola, he will want to build on that to claim his second win of the season after romping to victory in the Investec Royal Swazi Open.

THE COURSE

Situated only 122 kilometres from East London and 185 kilometres from Port Elizabeth, Fish River Sun’s golf course has breath-taking views of the Indian Ocean from several holes. The 18-hole Gary Player-designed championship golf course offers golfers a parkland type challenge, along the beautiful and unspoiled Sunshine Coast.

Sun Fish River Challenge: What you need to know 4

The fairways are lined with thick coastal vegetation and the course is fairly long which can be extremely testing if the winds pick up.

FUN FACTS

Port Alfred is known as a ‘Big Eight’ destination, where you might see lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalos, elephants, dolphins, sharks and whales. If you’re even slightly water-crazy, Port Alfred will have you canoeing up the Kowie River, kite-sailing on the beach, signing up with the local dive school for courses, and water-skiing on the river, whale-watching from a licensed boat or heading out into deep waters for some ocean fishing.


Ruan’s great form brings Boardwalk victory 1 9th October 2016 | Sunshine Tour

Ruan’s great form brings Boardwalk victory

Ruan de Smidt took his second Sunshine Tour title in three weeks on Saturday as he carded a three-under-par 69 to win the R700,000 Sun Boardwalk Challenge at Humewood Golf Club.

He overcame two bogeys in his opening three holes, and made five birdies in the rest of his round to edge out Tyrone Ferreira who shot a five-under 67 by one stroke. Danie van Tonder was in third place after he signed for a two-under 70, and he was a further shot back.

“My game has felt like it has been in the right place for the last six or seven weeks,” said De Smidt, “and luckily for me, I’ve won twice in the last three.” In fact, it was his eighth top-10 of the season, and his sixth in his last seven tournaments.

He must have wondered whether it was going to turn out that way when he dropped those two early shots, but he had scored really well around the turn and on the back nine in the preceding two rounds. He picked up one of the dropped shots on the fourth hole, and the second on the eighth, and three birdies in the last five holes down the stretch clinched it for him.

“I just putted terribly today,” he said of a victory which might have been more decisive. “I had 33 putts which is never great, but I hit it nicely – especially on the back nine where I had a lot of birdie opportunities. I’m just happy that I fought back after those first two holes.”

As he stepped up onto the 18th tee, he had seen a leaderboard on 17 and it told him he was two shots clear – but, up ahead of him, Ferreira had made a fine birdie on 18 and De Smidt was not aware of it. “I just played my approach on 18 for the front edge,” he said, “and then I saw that Tyrone had finished 12-under. I had left myself quite a lot of work.”

De Smidt played the final round paired with Van Tonder, and, until De Smidt eased clear towards the end of the round, they were locked in the kind of struggle which was reminiscent of their clashes as rookies. “I think that’s the first time I’ve come out on top in a clash with him,” laughed De Smidt. “It’s fun playing with Danie. He’s very competitive and we both bring out the best in each other.”

The win lifted him inside the top 20 of the 2016 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, to 17th spot, and his current form sets him up beautifully ahead of the summer season. He’s won four times on the Sunshine Tour, and his recent form suggests he is going to be a contender in the big-money events towards the end of the year and in early 2017.


17th December 2014 | Sunshine Tour

Ernie becomes player-host of SA Open

14_SAO_Ernie_hostNEW-500x288The Sunshine Tour today annonc That South Africa’s Most successful golfer of the past three Decades Ernie Els Will take on the role of host and ambassador for the South African Open Championship, starting with the 104th SA Open in January 2015 at Glendower Golf Club in Ekurhuleni. In addition to the SA Golf Development Board’s Chapter in Ekurhuleni, Els’ two charities, the Els for Autism Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation & Will Become The beneficiary charities of the tournament.

Selwyn Nathan, executive director of the Sunshine Tour Said, “We are very excited That Ernie HAS accepted the role, qui we are safe will go a long way to re-Establishing golf’s national second-oldest championship as one of the world’s flagship events. Ernie’s commitment to the Sunshine Tour has-been Unwavering THROUGHOUT His stellar career and we are very grateful That He Has reaffirmed this commitment to professional golf in South Africa by helping us to grow our national Open. ”

From His US base in Florida, Els Said, “I am very Honoured to-have-been Offered this role and accepted without hesitation as the South African Open Championship is a tournament with incredible history and featured Strongly HAS THROUGHOUT my career. I look forward to working together with the Sunshine Tour to accomplish achieve our shared vision of Growing the SA Open, so it can once again That icts take rightful Place Among The Most exotic and prestigious tournaments in world golf. Whatever Successes South African golfers-have enjoyed Around the World, none of us forgets the incredible start We had in our careers by HAVING tournaments like the SA Open to play in on the Sunshine Tour. It is therefore imperative Abebooks web do our best to assurer That South Africa’s flagship events are sustainable for generations to come and I am Delighted to blind in give my full backing to Achieving this. I have no doubt That my fellow countrymen Who play on the European and PGA Tours Feel the Same Way and I look forward to joining me in Them Working Towards thesis goals. ”

Cllr Mondli Gungubele, Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Where Els Spent formative His years as a young golfing phenom, ajout, “As the host sponsor of the 104th South African Open Championship, we are Delighted That One of Ekurhuleni’s Most Famous sounds HAS Agreed to take it this role and we look forward to welcoming Him Back once again to the City of Ekurhuleni. ”

 


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Branden triumphs at Leopard Creek

14_ADC_RD4L_WEB-500x288Branden Grace reigned supreme at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Sunday, Where He left the field seven shots behind and Recorded the first wire-to-wire victory of the tournament.

“It’s special to win it wire-to-wire, Because It’s more so in front of a local crowd. It was a pretty flawless round today and the perfect way to finish off an incredible tournament. Great week in the office, “he said.

The 26-year-old Gained a fifth European Tour title with a 20-under-par total. He shot rounds of 62, 66, 72, 68 to beat compatriot Louis Oosthuizen by seven shots.

“I was satisfied to finish off the tournament the way I did today,” Said Grace. “Every time I’ve won is When I’m playing well. I have not won When I’m not on top of my game. I was really good off the tee this week and Even on the 18 th I stuck to my routine. ”

The Fancourt Foundation graduate last won at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2012 and Waited two long years to hoist the leopard bust of this week’s 1.5 to 1,000,000 tournament. His name join the likes of Ernie Els, Richard Sterne and Charl Schwartzel on the plate.

“This is One That Any South African wants to tick off the list,” Said Grace. “It’s extra special To Be The first guy to win Both Dunhills, so that’s something for the record books. It’s a great finish to a great week at an amazing place. ”

The win catapults aussi Him to sixth in the Race to Dubai and His 2015 season gets Underway well.

“It’s incredible how Quickly go past two years. You wonder When the next one Will Come. It’s been a hard year, but over the past Few months the work paid off HAS. It’s nice to build something blind in up to a win. I’ve been knocking for the last couples of weeks, so it’s nice to finish it off, “he said.

 


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Pros impressed with talent at SAGDB clinic

14_ADC_FEA3_WEB-500x288The children from the South African Golf Development Board’s (SAGDB) Riverside Farm project Were Treated to the golf experience of a lifetime When They joined Reviews some of the professionals in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship in a golf clinic at Leopard Creek Country Club on Saturday.

And It Was not just the kids Who Were impressed with what the pros Were em teaching.

After watching 15-year-old hit three shots Vorster Thwala, multiple European Tour winner Thomas Aiken Said, “There’s actually not too much I can teach you. Your swing looks great. Just keep doing what you’re doing “.

The children all stay on the nearby Riverside Farm Where Their coach and mentor Samuel Lukhele em helps with everything from golf swings to Their Their daily homework.

“The kids come from school, do homework and Their Then We practice for about two hours. They love it. On the days They do not go to school, they’ll just practice all day if They Can, “says Lukhele.

“Purpose we do not just focus on Their golf. We try and Develop Them socially as well. We-have good relationship with year the teachers and principal At Their School. ”

The pros Were astounded by the skills of the children, Who-have-been playing golf for only just over one year.

“It’s fantastic Abebooks web can give back like this,” Said Aiken. “These kids-have amazing natural talent and Programs Such As this with the SAGDB just Enhances That. With this kind of support, There’s No Reason sacrifice part of thesis kids can not turn professional one day. ”

The Mpumalanga chapter of the SAGDB caters for Roughly 100 children, benefit from being white aussi Who ble to practice at Malelane and Komatipoort Golf Club Golf Club.

“In 2015 we’re Hoping to get em memberships at golf clubs thesis so They Can get official handicaps,” Said Edwin Compton , the SAGDB’s Development Manager for Mpumalanga.

For Grant Hepburn , Managing Director of the SAGDB, the Mpumalanga project has-been one of the MOST successful in the country.

“I’ve never seen so Many Children That are Good In this one group. Usually you get about two or three Who-have real Ability, aim in this group There’s about 13 of ’em. It’s so rewarding to see the Abebooks web’re making a real difference. ”

The SAGDB, Was founded de qui by Mr Johann Rupert in 1999 and is the official vehicle for golf development in South Africa, is Currently active in 12 provinces, and Will soon BE operational in all 14 children in 2300 It Has ict programs and 70 coaches nationwide.

 


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Branden keeps his head above water

14_ADC_RD3L_WEB-500x288Saturday at the Alfred Dunhill Championship was a tough affair and Branden Grace saw his lead dwindle to one shot, but the 26-year-old remained in frontat Leopard Creek Country Club.

Im one ahead and in the position I want to be in. Im still in good form, hitting the ball nicely and giving myself chances. I made some nice putts and today was just how golf can go sometimes, he said.

Golf fickleness certainly affected Grace during the third round and carded a level-par 72 that included four birdies and four bogeys. By the close of play the four-time European Tour winner held pole position on 16-under-par.

Ive only had good experiences going into a final round and leading. Im looking forward to tomorrow and taking in those positive vibes. Its the last round of the season, so lets try to finish it with a bang, he said.

Denmarks Lucas Bjerregaard had a dream 18 at Leopard Creek and shot 66 to rise into second place on 15-under-par. The 23-year-old got his round going with an eagle three at the 13th, which is the signature hole of the course.

He has finished in the top five in his last two starts on the European Tour and burst into contention on Saturday by shooting the low round of the day.

A further stroke off the pace was last weeks Nedbank Golf Challenge winner Danny Willett, who shot 33 on the back nine to total 15-under for the tournament.

Italys Francesco Molinari brought up fourth place on 12-under, while top-ranked Challenge Tour graduate Andrew Johnston was fifth a further shot off the pace.

Louis Oosthuizen made it to 10-under with an eagle at the 18th that was the result of a superb seven-iron approach that he stuck to five feet from the cup.

 


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Grace makes it look easy at Leopard Creek

Branden Grace left the field five shots behind with a round of 66 on Friday at Leopard Creek Country Club, Where He Reached the 36-hole mark of the Alfred Dunhill Championship on 16-under-par.

“I’m a guy That always looks at the leaderboards. It’s nice to know Where You Are and what position you’re in. At this internship There Is still a lot of golf, I’ll push on goal tomorrow and try to get even further Top head, “he said.

The 26-year-old headed Into the weekend with a haul of 17 birdies and stretched out a five-shot lead over Italy’s Francesco Molinari ahead of the cut.

“This is a golf course That suits me,” Said Grace. “If I keep putting it in play Then It Should Be a good weekend. The main thing about this race is just to hit the fairways. If I can do that Then who knows What will happen? “He said.

The four-time European Tour winner HAS always beens reliable to win in style and Claimed the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in 2012 on the back of a course record 60 at Kingsbarns.

“I’ve already got one win Dunhill, so Reviews another would be nice. This is just a special place. You look at all the names on the trophy and There are remarkable players-have That won here before. It’s nice to be back here in South Africa and playing well in my home country, “he said.

Grace’s form has-been impeccable this week and on Thursday at Leopard Creek he carded a flawless 62. Friday Was not as clean an affair and he About did make His First bogey of the tournament 1.5 to 1,000,000, aim it About did little to offset His load.

“The ball striking Was not as good as yesterday, I Kept birdieing the goal by fives. I Kept it going, Even though I had a little bit of a slip at the sixth There and made bogey. I think it Was a small Lack of concentration, goal That Happens. I stuck in there Until The End, “he said.

Grace is familiar with victory and has-been waiting to lift a trophy for two years. This week in Malelane he’ll be hard to stop with His Five-shot cushion at the Halfway Mark.

“I think I’ve got a good history with leading,” Said Grace. “I’ve done it and I know Before That I can do it again. If I stick to my guns and stay patient Then I’ll be alright. ”

 


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Tjaart sets course for Dunhill success

Tjaart van der Walt made a move at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Friday, where he carded a second round 67 to move into second place ahead of a cut to 65 and ties.

The 2013 Lion of Africa Cape Town Open winner was quick out of the blocks from his start on the 10th and moved to three-under after four holes. He went on to card five-under for the second time in as many days at Leopard Creek.

First hole was a 25-foot swinging right-to-lefter and I made it. I felt good from the first hole onwards. Youve always got to fancy your chances. I was just happy to get out there and get a few numbers on the board early on, he said.

Long putts were the order of the day for Van der Walt, whose highlight reel included a 50-footer for birdie at the eighth hole.

Leopard Creek is a long golf course for me. Im not going in with short irons like some of the other guys, but when I got it on the greens I rolled the putts well. Yesterday and today a couple went in, which kept the momentum going, he said.

Way out in front was Branden Grace, who shot 66 on Friday to stretch his overnight lead to six shots. The four-time European Tour winner was excited to be playing well again and was the man to beat halfway through the tournament.

This is a golf course that suits me. If I keep putting it in play then it should be a good weekend. The main thing about this course is just to hit the fairways, he said.

 


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Branden back with a bang

Branden Grace soared Into the lead at the Alfred Dunhill Championship on Thursday After carding 62 at Leopard Creek Country Club, Where the four-time European Tour winner cam up one putt short of matching the record race.

“I think this is One of Those races Where you can get it going. Today I did not really make mistakes Any. I can not remember the last time I had a round Where I did not look at making a bogey, “he said.

Grace attacked This is the flag at the island green of the 18 th hole at Leopard Creek, landing His six-iron approach 15 feet from the pin. He Was Unable to make eagle at the last and match Thomas Aiken’s 2008 record of 61, aim Walked off with a birdie and a three-shot lead.

“I Had no clue what the record race WAS,” Said Grace. “On 18 I Was pumped more to make the eagle putt than I Was to shoot 10-under. It Was One of Those WHERE a good shot Was Followed By Reviews another. It Was a good putt just That Was not Meant to Be. ”

Two years ago the Fancourt Foundation graduate est devenu only the first player in the history of the European Tour to Win His First furnace events in the Sami year. Since then he’s been without a trophy, goal this week His confidence and game are back.

“I phoned Zack (Rasego) up and said ‘Are you keen to get back on the bag?’ We had a good chat and now we’re on Good terms. We’re working together nicely and clicking close again. When he pulls me off a shot I know it’s for a reason and I trust Him fully, so it’s been a good two months.

“If you hit the ball well and make a pair of putts Then You really get out there positive and the negative thoughts do not really come Into your head. Purpose vice versa can happen, “he said.

Grace Seemed Unable to play a bad shot on Thursday and made 10 birdies over the course de son round to finish three strokes clear of the field.

Jake Roos Took up the chase on seven-under After starting with an eagle two at the 10 th hole. He Went on to shoot 65 and rose Into sole second, one shot clear of Matt Ford and Nedbank Golf Challenge winner Danny Willett .

“When I holed That shot on my first hole It Was an ice-breaker for me,” Said Roos. “It got me laughing and relaxed me, so it Was a perfect start. I Had 163 meters in and hit a five-iron. It came out right on target and pitched a little short and Went in. ”

 

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