Ballito - This week the Sunshine Tour goes north
of Durban for the Origins of Golf to be held at Zimbali Coastal Resort
and Estate from Thursday, August 31 to Friday, September 1.
Madalitso Muthiya of Zambia won this event last year when it
was played at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club where he defeated Hennie du
Plessia and Ockie Strydom by two strokes after he shot a final round
four-under-par 66 to total 11-under-par.
Muthiya won this title under some testing weather conditions
and against a formidable field, so the resilience he showed last year will be
very important going into this week.
He has missed four cuts in his seven
starts this season, and he will be hoping last week's finish marked his return
He goes into his first ever title-defence off the back of a
solid finish of 12th in the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge and he will
be wary of the strong field chasing victory this week.
And among those to look
out for will be Ockie Strydom.
Strydom has been in hot form this season, and by looking at
his record this season, it is justifiable to think he might win something very
In his last five starts, Strydom has finished in the top-10 three times,
and has the top-20 finish he obtained at Vodacom Origins of Golf Highland Gate
and one missed cut from the Sun City Challenge.
He came second last week to
Oliver Bekker at the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge, came ninth at Arabella Hotel
and Spa the week prior to that, and finished eighth in the Sun Carnival City
Challenge at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.
Bekker, too, is a natural contender this week because of his
current form. Boasting three titles already and sitting pretty at the top of
the Order of Merit standings, Bekker has often looked unstoppable up to now.
Not only has he been winning, Bekker has been putting together some solid
fight-back rounds and therefore must be considered when looking at possible
winners next week.
And, while it will always be difficult to predict who will
win the event - due to the top quality competitors assembled this week -
players like Neil Schietekat, Merrick Bremner and Vaughn Groenewald among
others, have been playing solidly lately and will surely mount a serious
challenge for the defending Muthiya.
The event at Zimbali is the third in a six-tournament series.