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10th May 2022

Sunshine Tour launches new Sunshine Tour Transformation Class

The Sunshine Tour today announced the launch of its new Sunshine Tour Transformation Class with the support of its patrons Investec, Betway, VAT It and Credit Guarantee, and which aims to provide a sustainable solution to the development of the professional careers of historically disadvantaged golfers and promote greater inclusion in the game.

The Sunshine Tour Transformation Class for the 2022/23 season will include 59 golfers who qualified by virtue of their performances during the previous Sunshine Tour season, the recent Sunshine Tour Qualifying School and Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament, and on the IGT Tour. The Sunshine Tour Transformation Class will be reevaluated every season.

The members of the 2022/23 Sunshine Tour Transformation Class will receive monthly financial assistance towards their tournament golf expenses. Their membership and tournament entry fees for the Sunshine Tour and Altron Big Easy Tour will also be fully paid for. They will receive access to quality coaching, golf courses, gyms and fitness instructors at the World of Golf. TaylorMade and Cobra Puma Golf will provide them with equipment and apparel. They will also have access to a sports psychologist and career counseling.

Members of the Sunshine Tour Transformation Class who are interested in working in the golf industry will be enrolled with the PGA of South Africa to begin the qualification to become recognised PGA Professionals.

“We are delighted to launch the Sunshine Tour Transformation Class at the start of our new season, and with the incredible support of our partners Investec, Betway, VAT It and Credit Guarantee,” said Ludwick Manyama, the Head of Transformation for the Sunshine Tour.

“The Sunshine Tour has a longstanding commitment to the development of historically disadvantaged professionals as can be seen from the previous programmes we have put in place on the Tour. All of these programmes have helped us to build towards this new Sunshine Tour Transformation Class which, thanks to our partners, gives us a highly effective transformation solution for professional golf.”

The 2022/23 Sunshine Tour Transformation Class

Dylan Naidoo, Heinrich Bruiners, Jacquin Hess, Keenan Davidse, Nikhil Rama, Toto Thimba Jnr, Wade Jacobs, Yubin Jung, James Kamte, Thanda Mavundla, Tumelo Molloyi, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Adriel Poonan, Thabang Simon, Evans Vukeya, Franklin Manchest, Gerrit Foster, Jastice Mashego, Karabo Mokoena, Keelan van Wyk, Keelan Africa, Siyanda Mwandla, Tristin Galant, Lwazi Gqira, Makhetha Mazibuko, Allister De Kok, Dwayne Basson, Gerard du Plooy, Lincon Denzy Cele, John Bele, Shalan Govender, Ethan Joseph, Fezekile Kana, Richard Kruger, Mike Maile, Sandy Makume, Sentanio Minnie, Brandon Moodley, Thabo Moraba, SP Mthethwa, Thabiso Ngcobo, Omar Sandys, Alphius Kelapile, Boeta Nasie, Byron Van Der Merwe, Darren Slingers, Derrick Petersen, Gerard Moodly, Irvin Mazibuko, Jason Diab, Lindani Ndwandwe, Lindani Mthiyane, Mark Maart, M-Jay Xaba, Murad Hoosen, Ricco Motsa, Slenda Sithebe, Teboho Sefatsa, Thato Maponyane.

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6th May 2022

Jung wins Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament

JOHANNESBURG – Yubin Jung booked his place on the Sunshine Tour for next season when he won the Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament at Huddle Park Golf Club on Friday.

Jung closed with a 68 to win on 16 under par, one stroke clear of Keelan van Wyk who signed for a final round of 66. Musiwalo Nethunzwi and amateur Anu Gounden finished third on nine under par with respective rounds of 66 and 69.

The leading 15 golfers and those tied for 15th place all earned their Sunshine Tour cards for the 2022/23 season, while the rest received their Altron Big Easy Tour cards.

“I’m really grateful. I felt like my game has been quite good for the last six or seven months. I’ve added more structure to my game and the way I’ve been practicing. I’ve also changed my mental approach towards my game and it’s paid off,” said Jung.

“I’ve got some goals for this season and my goal will be to make the top 50 on the Luno Order of Merit. It means the world to all of us to be able to play in this Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament because it gives us the opportunity to play professional golf for a living.”

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5th May 2022

Sunshine Tour announces new Luno Order of Merit

The Sunshine Tour announced today that Luno, the global cryptocurrency platform that aims to put the power of crypto in everyone’s hands, is the new sponsor of the Luno Order of Merit on the Tour.

In announcing the new sponsorship, the Sunshine Tour also unveiled a new format for the Luno Order of Merit for the upcoming 2022/23 season as it shifts from a money-based Order of Merit to the more globally recognized points-based rankings system.

The Luno Order of Merit also offers exciting new incentives for the Sunshine Tour professionals.

The leading golfer on the Luno Order of Merit at the end of the season will receive R500 000 in Bitcoin, paid directly into the golfer’s Luno account. The second-ranked golfer on the final Luno Order of Merit will receive R200 000 in Bitcoin, and the third-ranked golfer will receive R100 000 in Bitcoin.

“Luno is focused on empowering people by building a new financial system that is easily accessible, meets the challenge of a constantly evolving world, and which is more suited to the digital age. We’re the facilitators of a new way of thinking about money, and we’re delighted that we can partner with a progressive brand such as the Sunshine Tour in delivering this message. Professional golfers have a very different way of thinking about risk and reward, both on and off the golf course. Their careers are constantly evolving, and this aligns perfectly with our vision to put the power of crypto in everyone’s hands by making it safe and easy to buy, store and learn about crypto,” said Marius Reitz, Luno GM for Africa.

Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “Luno is a brand which fits our strong digital focus and the new, younger audience we are reaching, and we are delighted to welcome them to the Sunshine Tour. We are a Tour that is constantly evolving for the benefit of our member professionals, and the new Luno Order of Merit reflects this vision and our desire to partner with brands that see potential and opportunity as differently as we do.”

The new points system for the Luno Order of Merit will come into effect as of 30 April 2022. Points will be allocated according to the tournament prize money on offer as follows:

Tier 1 tournament (prize money up to R2 000 000.00):  2 000 points.

Tier 2 tournament (prize money between R2 000 001.00 and R5 999 999.00): 4 000 points.

Tier 3 tournament (prize money between R6 000 000.00 and R10 000 000.00): 6 000 points.

Tier 4 tournament (prize money between R10 000 001.00 and R19 999 999.00): 10 000 points.

Tier 5 tournament (prize money of R20 000 000.00 or more): 12 000 points.

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1st May 2022

Strydom breaks records on his way to Tour Championship win

KEMPTON PARK, City of Ekurhuleni – Tristen Strydom made his professional breakthrough on the Sunshine Tour when he won the season-ending Tour Championship in record style at Serengeti Estates on Sunday.

Strydom built on his two-stroke lead overnight and closed with a 66 to win by six shots, which is the biggest margin of victory in the history of the Tour Championship.

Strydom also claimed the record for the lowest winning total in the history of the Tour Championship on 21-under-par 267, surpassing the previous record of 19-under-par 269 by Garrick Higgo in 2020.

And he is also the first player in Sunshine Tour history to win the Tour’s Qualifying School and the Tour Championship. Strydom won the Qualifying School in 2020.

“I can’t describe how it feels. It’s been hard for me and I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am today. I’m blessed with a lot of good people around me. It makes it so special to get that first victory for everybody who believes in me,” said Strydom.

Pieter Moolman took second place on 15 under par with a final round of 70, while George Coetzee finished third on 11 under with a closing 70.

Strydom was never under pressure on the final day as he made four birdies on the front nine – three of them in succession – to continue moving away from the field. He stumbled with a bogey on 10 but corrected this with another birdie on the 11th. When he added a birdie on the 14th the title was beyond doubt, and his final birdie on the 18th confirmed it.

“I came out with an attacking mindset. I didn’t want to give anybody a chance. I had a good gameplan and I felt really comfortable with the golf course. I’ve had so many second-place finishes and it does get to you after a while. Buy my caddie just kept telling me to stay patient and it will happen at the right place and right time. And it’s great to have finally done it,” said Strydom.

The win is a groundbreaking one for a player who was one of South Africa’s top amateurs and who then took some time to adjust to the professional ranks. The victory earns Strydom a one-year exemption on the Sunshine Tour.

The Tour Championship wrapped up the Sunshine Tour 2021/22 season. Shaun Norris claimed the top spot on the final Order of Merit thanks largely to his victory in the DP World Tour co-sanctioned Steyn City Championship. That earns Norris exemptions into the US Open and Open Championship this year as well as the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. Dean Burmester finished second on the Order of Merit and Thriston Lawrence ended the season in third place.

Jayden Schaper’s finish of fourth in the Tour Championship secured him the Rookie of the Year award. – Michael Vlismas.