Sunshine Tour

Can European Tour players find form at Sun City?

2017-08-02 13:05
Brandon Stone (Getty Images)

Rustenberg - With the European Tour on a two-week break due to the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship, South Africans not playing in those tournaments have returned home and this week's Sun City Challenge offers them space to rediscover their form and maybe win something.

Last week, Brandon Stone returned to South Africa and claimed second place behind eventual winner of the Origins of Golf Highland Gates, Doug McGuigan.

And this week, Dean Burmester, Zander Lombard, 2016 Joburg Open winner Haydn Porteous and Jbe' Kruger, among others, will want to announce their return with a victory or a decent finish at this 54-hole R750 000 Sun City Challenge.

Lombard, in particular, has played some solid golf abroad with two top-10 finishes in the last few months.

He most recently tied for fifth at the European Open in Germany last week and prior to that came second in Sicily.

Kruger has also played well in recent times both on the European Tour and the Asian Tour.

He occupies 19th spot on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit after eight starts and boasts two top-10 finishes on the European circuit so far this season. He will be one to watch at the Gary Player Country Club.

And while he may have missed the cut at the Scottish Open in June, Burmester remains a genuine threat every time he takes to the tee.

His last top-10 finish on the European Tour came in May when he tied for ninth at the BMW PGA Championship.

Other South Africans returning home for the next two weeks include Jacques Kruyswijk and Rourke van der Spuy who have been doing duty on the European Challenge Tour, while veteran Keith Horne returns from the Asian Tour where he occupies 38th on their Order of Merit after playing seven tournaments.

However, the standard of golf on the Sunshine Tour has been so high that it is never easy to predict who will win but Stone's finish last week must inspire the other players to believe all is achievable on a good day.

They will have a host of top talent to contend against this week and they will all hope for a morale-boosting victory ahead of the return of the European Tour's regular events in two weeks' time.


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