23rd August 2022

Burmester confirmed for Nedbank Golf Challenge

Dean Burmester has confirmed his place in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and will make his third appearance in “Africa’s Major” at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City from November 10-13, 2022.

Burmester adds to a field that already boasts defending champion Tommy Fleetwood and recent PGA TOUR winner Will Zalatoris.

“The Nedbank Golf Challenge is an iconic tournament for any South African golfer. It’s one we all grew up watching and wanting to play in one day. This will be my third appearance and perhaps the most special as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. It will also be great to have all those passionate Nedbank Golf Challenge fans back after the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Burmester.

Already a two-time winner on the DP World Tour and eight-time Sunshine Tour champion, the 33-year-old Burmester took his game to the next level this year when he achieved his best-ever finish in a Major with tied 11th in the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews.

“My goal is to definitely to become South Africa’s next Major champion. I want to be challenging in the Majors. As a boy growing up, that’s where you want to be. You dream of standing at The Open with the claret jug, or at The Masters with a green jacket on. I want to give myself a chance in a Major on the back nine on a Sunday. I’d be pretty happy just to have that chance right now.”

A shot at “Africa’s Major” on the back nine on Sunday would be equally welcome, and he certainly has the kind of record at Sun City to make that a reality.

Burmester finished tied 11th in the 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge. He also finished fourth in the 2020 South African Open, which was played at the Gary Player Country Club in the absence of the Nedbank Golf Challenge that year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Burmester’s proud record at Sun City also includes winning the 2014 Sun City Challenge at the Lost City Golf Course, the resort’s second championship golf course also designed by Gary Player.

Burmester has a double place he’ll be chasing in the history of the Nedbank Golf Challenge as he seeks to become the seventh South African winner of the tournament and also the third Zimbabwean-born champion.

Tickets for the Nedbank Golf Challenge, starting at R40 for the Pro-Ams and R250 for Tournament Rounds, are available here, while Hospitality Packages for the Circa Champions Club, Circa Pavilion or Circa 18th Green can be purchased here. The 2019 edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge delivered record attendance figures and sold-out hospitality.


22nd August 2022

SA golfers shine worldwide

The depth of South African men’s professional golf was on display worldwide this past weekend across the major tours, and with this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate set to reflect this even further.

On the PGA Tour, Christiaan Bezuidenhout finished tied 12th in the BMW Championship. On the Korn Ferry Tour, MJ Daffue lost in a playoff for the Albertsons Boise Open, while Dean Burmester finished tied fourth in the same tournament.

On the DP World Tour, Louis de Jager finished tied third in the D&D Real Czech Masters. Zander Lombard finished fifth in the same tournament, while Thriston Lawrence and Wilco Nienaber shared eighth place.

And on the Asian Tour, Justin Harding finished tied 10th in the International Series Korea.

Add in Trevor Immelman finalising his top eight players for the International Team of The Presidents Cup, and South African golf’s presence was definitely felt in the global game.

Back on the Sunshine Tour this week, the second tournament on the Vodacom Origins of Golf series tees off at the Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate on Thursday.

Albert Venter headlines the field as a multiple winner on tour this year with his victories in the FBC Zim Open and the SunBet Challenge hosted by Time Square Casino. It’s lifted him into second place on the Luno Order of Merit in what has been a breakout season for one of the new stars on the local circuit. His six-shot victory in the SunBet Challenge hosted by Time Square Casino was the tied biggest margin of victory on the Sunshine Tour this season.

Deon Germishuys claimed his maiden Tour title by six shots in the Sishen Classic in May, and Merrick Bremner and Martin Rohwer combined to win the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship – a team event – by six shots earlier this month.

Venter’s next goal will be to take this form into the upcoming summer leg of the Sunshine Tour and contend in the tournament co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour.

“My main focus at the moment is on peaking at the end of the year in those big events, the four co-sanctioned tournaments. Those are like the Sunshine Tour Majors. Knowing that I’m playing well will give me a lot of confidence. All of this is prep work for the end of the year,” Venter said. – Michael Vlismas


19th August 2022

Venter wins by six in SunBet Challenge

Albert Venter completed an inspired three days of golf as he won the SunBet Challenge hosted by Time Square Casino at Wingate Park Country Club by six strokes on Friday.

Going into the final round with a five-stroke lead, the 26-year-old said his approach was to think he was actually tied for the lead, and that saw him get the job done on an even more blustery, and colder, day in Pretoria.

Venter offset two bogeys on each nine with five birdies, and always looked in complete control of affairs, especially after birdies at the second and third holes.

“Even with a five-shot cushion I knew I could take nothing for granted because there have been a lot of cases where someone has a big lead and they don’t get over the line,” Venter said.

“So my mindset was that I was tied for the lead and just needed to play as solidly as I could. Starting off the tournament with a 63 put me in a really good position, so the last two rounds were just about maintaining that and trying to increase my lead.

“But you never know what could happen at the next hole if you make a mistake, so it’s really important to have that cushion,” Venter said.

Venter’s one-under 71 on Friday lifted him to 13-under for the tournament, with Ruan Korb also shooting a 71 and finishing second on seven-under-par.

Estiaan Conradie was alone in third on six-under after a 73 on Friday, with Michael Palmer (-5) and Jean Hugo (-4) completing the top-five.

Venter has now claimed two titles on the Sunshine Tour this year following his triumph in the Zimbabwe Open in May, and he said from now through October, he will be honing his game in preparation for the co-sanctioned events in the summer.

“I just try to play as good as I can in every tournament, but my main focus at the moment is on peaking at the end of the year in those big events, the four co-sanctioned tournaments. Those are like the Sunshine Tour Majors. Knowing that I’m playing well will give me a lot of confidence. All of this is prep work for the end of the year,” Venter said.


203 – Albert Venter 63 69 71

209 – Ruan Korb 68 70 71

210 – Estiaan Conradie 68 69 73

211 – Michael Palmer 73 69 69

212 – Jean Hugo 69 68 75

213 – Hennie Otto 74 69 70, Siyanda Mwandla 75 68 70, Keagan Thomas 68 73 72, Richard Joubert 67 72 74, Luke Brown 72 66 75

214 – Lyle Rowe 73 68 73, Heinrich Bruiners 69 71 74

215 – Jacques Blaauw 75 68 72, Luca Filippi 72 70 73, Rourke van der Spuy 73 68 74

216 – Ruan de Smidt 71 72 73, Dylan Mostert 75 68 73, Wallie Coetsee 72 71 73, JJ Senekal 69 73 74, Jared Harvey 73 69 74, Matthew Spacey 73 69 74, Martin Rohwer 67 73 76

217 – Madalitso Muthiya 70 74 73, Hennie O’Kennedy 67 77 73, Herman Loubser 73 71 73, Daniel van Tonder 72 71 74, Dylan Naidoo 70 70 77, Dayne Moore 69 70 78

218 – Pieter Moolman 75 69 74, Malcolm Mitchell 70 73 75, Clayton Mansfield 73 70 75

219 – Paul Boshoff 70 73 76, Yurav Premlall 73 70 76, Martin Vorster 71 72 76, Bradley Bawden 75 68 76, Kyle Barker 72 70 77

220 – Louis Albertse 72 71 77, Erhard Lambrechts 69 71 80

221 – Wynand Dingle 68 76 77

222 – Jayden Schaper 70 74 78

223 – Adam Breen 72 72 79

230 – Michael Kok 72 72 86


18th August 2022

Venter tightens grip on SunBet Challenge

PRETORIA, Gauteng – Albert Venter led by four strokes after the first round of the SunBet Challenge hosted by Time Square Casino at the Wingate Park Country Club and the 26-year-old ensured he kept the door closed on his rivals in Thursday’s second round as he posted a solid three-under-par 69 to stretch that advantage to five strokes.

Venter will head into the final round on 12-under-par for the tournament, having shot a brilliant 63 in the first round.

There was a blustery wind in Pretoria on Thursday, just the sort of conditions in which a golfer could blow a lead on the hard and fast greens of Wingate Park, and Venter began his round cautiously, being level-par, with a birdie and a bogey, through his first eight holes.

But he was then able to tear around the turn with three birdies in the next four holes. Six straight pars coming in on the front nine completed a round which could only be considered a success.

“The wind picked up a lot today so my first few holes were not too bad. It was definitely trickier today to figure out which way it was blowing. Because the course is tree-lined, it swirls around a bit,” Venter said.

“There were quite difficult decisions to make over which irons to play. But we predicted the wind would pick up and the plan was to get my score as low as possible to build a bit of a cushion. Thankfully I kept my head in the game and managed to get a decent score. I can’t control what the other golfers do, but I am in a really good position,” Venter said.

On a hard day to shoot a really low score, Estiaan Conradie (69) and Jean Hugo (68) did really well to position themselves as Venter’s closest challengers, on seven-under-par.

Luke Brown produced the round of the day, a 66 that included seven birdies, to join Ruan Korb (70) on six-under for the tournament.

Venter won the Zimbabwe Open in May for his maiden Sunshine Tour title and will be able to learn from that experience in Friday’s final round.

“The big thing about winning is trying to get into those positions more and more, trying to get used to the atmosphere and nerves you face on the final day,” the Silver Lakes golfer said.

“I’ve been in quite a few situations like that in the last few years, although I wouldn’t say I’m experienced. But I’ve been in the situation before and I know how to deal with the nerves and the adrenaline. I can’t get ahead of myself, I have to stay patient and stick to my guns,” Venter said.


17th August 2022

Venter takes SunBet Challenge lead with 63

Albert Venter enjoyed a dream start to his round, but then had to stay patient to ensure he converted it into a brilliant one on the opening day of the SunBet Challenge hosted by Time Square Casino at the Wingate Park Country Club in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Venter, teeing off shortly before noon, birdied the first three holes and then made sure he gave nothing away as he compiled a bogey-free nine-under-par 63 to give himself a four-stroke lead after the first round of the R1 million event.

The Silver Lakes golfer ensured he didn’t push too hard, making pars from the fourth to eighth holes, before making his fourth birdie at the par-three ninth hole. Venter went on another superb run from the 12th hole, going birdie-eagle-birdie, and then he capped his round with another birdie on the 18th, the third par-five of the back nine.

“Those three birdies in the first three holes really put my round in place, but it was important not to get ahead of myself,” Venter said. “I just tried to keep hitting greens and give myself chances.”

“I had to still go through my processes. I reached the turn in four-under even though there was only one par-five on the front nine. With three par-fives on the back nine, I always thought there would be scoring opportunities there and I just had to be patient.

“On the 13th I had only an eight-iron in, but finished on the fringe because of an unlucky bounce. But then I putted in from there, although it counts as a chip-in on the stats,” Venter laughed.

The firm greens, especially at this time of year, are what prevent golfers from really laying down the law on a course established in the late 1940s.

“Wingate Park in winter is quite difficult because the greens are quick, firm and fast,” Venter said. “That’s the defence – it’s unpredictable how the ball will bounce on them, so your approach shots have to be more accurate, you have to be more specific about where you land the ball.”

“Hitting 10 fairways obviously helped me. The course is quite tree-lined so those fairways I missed, fortunately it was not a big enough miss to land me in too much trouble,” Venter said.

Other golfers to get good returns on Wednesday were Hennie O’Kennedy, Richard Joubert and Martin Rohwer, who all shot five-under 67s to share second place.

Estiaan Conradie, Wynand Dingle, Keagan Thomas and Ruan Korb were a further stroke back after shooting 68s.


63 – Albert Venter

67 – Hennie O’Kennedy, Richard Joubert, Martin Rohwer

68 – Estiaan Conradie, Wynand Dingle, Keagan Thomas, Ruan Korb

69 – Jean Hugo, Erhard Lambrechts, JJ Senekal, Heinrich Bruiners, Dayne Moore

70 – Malcolm Mitchell, Sean Bradley, Jayden Schaper, Paul Boshoff, Madalitso Muthiya, Tumelo Molloyi, Dylan Naidoo, Rhys West

71 – Ryan Van Velzen, Martin Vorster, Jean-Paul Strydom, Ruan de Smidt, Jaco Van Zyl

72 – Sean Cronje, Thabang Simon, Luca Filippi, Keenan Davidse, Louis Albertse, Wallie Coetsee, Daniel van Tonder, Kyle Barker, Clancy Waugh, Luke Brown, Michael Kok, Kyle McClatchie, Adam Breen, Jacquin Hess

73 – Lindani Ndwandwe, Aneurin Gounden, Herman Loubser, Jake Redman, Yurav Premlall, Lyle Rowe, Merrick Bremner, Matthew Spacey, Makhetha Mazibuko, Nikhil Rama, Clayton Mansfield, Jared Harvey, Rourke van der Spuy, Michael Palmer, CJ du Plessis

74 – Therion Nel, Riekus Nortje, Danie Van Niekerk, Jaco Prinsloo, James Hart du Preez, Keelan van Wyk, Clinton Grobler, James Pennington, Stefan Wears-Taylor, Callum Mowat, Peter Karmis, Joe Long, Ivan Verster, Hennie Otto, Toto Thimba Jnr, Yubin Jung, Jordan Duminy, Teaghan Gauche

75 – Ryan Cairns, Dean O’Riley, Quintin Wilsnach, Chris Cannon, Combrinck Smit, Lwazi Gqira, Siyanda Mwandla, Andre De Decker, Jacques Blaauw, Ockie Strydom, Dylan Mostert, Pieter Moolman, Bradley Bawden, Allister de Kock

76 – Divan van den Heever, Gerrit Foster, Kevin Rhoderick, Thanda Mavundla, Jacques P de Villiers, Joshua Seale, Chris Swanepoel, Hayden Griffiths, Matias Calderon, Doug McGuigan, Leon Vorster

77 – Casey Jarvis, Harry Konig, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, Fredrik From, Trevor Fisher Jnr, Maverick Faber

78 – Dwayne Basson, Anthony Michael, Alex Haindl, Jason Smith, Stephen Ferreira, Adriel Poonan, Gerard du Plooy, MJ Viljoen, Karabo Mokoena

79 – Vaughn van Deventer, Keelan Africa

80 – Steven Le Roux, Lincon Denzy Cele, Andre Van Dyk, Christiaan Burke, Brooklin Bailey


The Score with Tristen Strydom

The Score is the Sunshine Tour’s Player Blog.

Tristen Strydom reflects on his past Sunshine Tour season and that breakthrough victory in the Tour Championship.

It was the right time and place to make my breakthrough in last season’s Tour Championship. It’s obviously very satisfying in a way because for a long time I haven’t been my normal self in terms of being confident on the golf course and not worried about my game. I felt it should just come to me, but it’s been an uphill road since I joined the Tour. That first year on Tour in 2017, I failed miserably. I was very low after that. I was really disappointed. My caddie just kept saying to me to be patient because I was playing well, and it will come.

After yet another runner-up finish in 2021 I took on Grant Veenstra as my coach. It was really tough on me those first few months because I’ve never been in that kind of structured setup, and I had to show a lot of discipline to myself and make sacrifices. I don’t mean to sound arrogant when I say this, but golf has always been the easy part for me. I’ve played golf since I was a year and four months old. It really does come naturally to me. But when I turned pro, I went from knowing exactly what I did with a golf ball to being confused. There is not that sense of urgency in amateur golf. You’re still a youngster and under your parents’ roof. Then you turn pro and suddenly it’s welcome to the big boys. It took me a while to find my feet. There wasn’t anybody who showed me the ropes. But I’m also a bit different like that. I don’t like asking questions. I like doing my own thing because I feel that when you figure it out yourself, there’s that sense that you who did it. This is a mental game, and that’s what has clicked for me. You don’t have to play perfect golf to contend and win golf tournaments. 

I’m turning into a better professional in the sense of being more dedicated to what I’m doing. I’m more patient in my build-up and more strict in my course management. I never really understood the importance of that before. Discipline seems like a harsh word, but I found the real power in doing the same thing for the past nine months every day and trusting that it’s good enough to win golf tournaments. Last season I took the time to work really hard on my mental game. That’s a big key out here on Tour when you’re trying to beat seriously good golfers. We can all do everything with the golf ball out here. What makes the difference is that you need to be mentally tough out here.

I have some great opportunities now. I’m going to play the Challenge Tour and hopefully get my DP World Tour card at the end of this season. You know, in golf you always compare yourself to other guys. I compare myself to a lot of my peers who are in the top 100 in the world, playing in Majors and winning on the DP World Tour and PGA Tour. For me there was a sense of, ‘what am I missing to get to that level?’. I need motivation like that. I want to be playing on the main tours. I want to be in the top 100 in the world. I want to try and win Majors.

Photo Credit: Sunshine Tour


16th August 2022

A golf tournament with community drive

As the Nedbank Golf Challenge celebrates its 40thanniversary as “Africa’s Major” this November, it also celebrates the equally major impact the tournament has had outside the ropes as an event dedicated to sustainability and inclusivity within its local community.

From the local procurement of resources and staff to a community of grandmothers using their skills to bring a creative new element to championship golf, the Nedbank Golf Challenge has always strived to make as much of an impact outside the ropes as it has done on the fairways since its birth in 1981.

It’s a vision shared by tournament sponsor Nedbank and host Sun International, and they’ve combined to use the tournament to help raise millions for projects as diverse as The Sports Trust, the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB), school sports facilities within the local community around Sun City, and even autism awareness.

“The Nedbank Golf Challenge has always been a great platform for South Africa to showcase our beautiful country to the rest of the world, but more importantly for Nedbank to demonstrate our brand essence of using financial expertise to do good for individuals, families, businesses and society,” says Tobie Badenhorst, Nedbank Head: Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing.

Nedbank is a founding partner and trustee of The Sports Trust, and the Sports Trust Golf Challenge played on the Monday following the Nedbank Golf Challenge annually raises over R1-million for golf development.

The Sports Trust built and donated the multi-purpose sport court at Mphuphuthe Primary School in the local Ledig Village in partnership with the National Department of Sport and Recreation, Nedbank, Sun International and Bakubung Platinum Mine. The Nedbank Foundation further contributed R100 000 towards classroom renovations and technology equipment at Mphuphuthe Primary School.

Nedbank has also provided educational resources to the Tsunyane Primary School at the Lekgalong Village near Sun City.

Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive of Sun International, said: “The Nedbank Golf Challenge has had a generational impact for golf fans who remember watching the tournament when they were young and now attend it with their own children. Similarly, it’s always been our focus to ensure that it has that same generational impact in our community, and that the impact of the tournament will be seen in years to come in terms of how it has helped uplift the people around Sun City.”

Some of the standout community partnership projects include the yarn bombing initiative which employs a group of local grandmothers to knit colourful wraps for some of the trees on the golf course. A local artist was also employed to repurpose used tyres and turn them into hanging flower baskets for the tournament village.

Sun International and Sun City have in the past also teamed up with the Department of Correctional Services to renovate the local Lesetlheng Clinic in Rustenburg. The building materials were procured by Sun City, and inmates from the Mogwase Correctional Centre conducted the renovations.

Donations from the tournament have also gone to the Kwadeda Golf Project in Soweto and the building of a putting green and practice nets for the Zola community there. Sun International also sponsored a motorized golf cart for the South African Disabled Golf Association.

Even on another continent, the Nedbank South African Charity Golf Day in England helped raise R100 000 for the Retlakgona Primary School in Meriting, a community about 40 minutes outside of Sun City.

And the 2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge launched the Sun City Cares golf day, which raised R387 500 for the Els for Autism Foundation.

“As much as this is a golf tournament that is close to all of our hearts, it’s our vision together with our partners Sun International that this is a tournament that also remains close to its community,” says Badenhorst.

Further ticketing and hospitality details as well as bookings can be found at:


15th August 2022

World tours welcome back AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open

The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will return to the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour schedules for the first time since 2019 at a celebrated new world-class host venue this December.

The sixth edition of this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournament will break new ground when it travels to the northern region of the island for the first time and to the championship golf course of Mont Choisy Le Golf from 15-18 December 2022.

Mauritius will also be the grand finale of a strong conclusion to 2022 for the Sunshine Tour. The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will be played at the end of a four-week run of premier Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned events that begins in Johannesburg and ends on the island, featuring a selection of the finest professionals from both tours.

“We are delighted to make our return to the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour, and more importantly to be the catalyst for bringing the largest sporting event of the region to Mauritius for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open is an important contributor to the Mauritian economy with a spillover effect to key sectors such as the tourism and financial services to name a few. This tournament, broadcast worldwide, always draws a strong field and plenty of international interest and remains a source of great national pride,” said Thierry Vallet, Founder Executive and Interim CEO of AfrAsia Bank.

The 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open has once again drawn a glittering array of blue-chip sponsors, including Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels which is a premier accommodation partner to the tournament through its eight resorts in Mauritius.

“The Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels Group is firmly entrenched in the history of Mauritius, and we are proud to partner with the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and help to stimulate the Mauritius tourism industry as we have done since 1962. As the leading hotel group in Mauritius, we are ready to open the doors of our award-winning resorts to the field of international golfers as well as the spectators traveling from abroad to spend this memorable week with us,” said Gilbert Espitalier-Noel, CEO of the Beachcomber Resorts & Hotels Group.

Mont Choisy Le Golf will make its debut as the host of this year’s tournament, which travels to the magnificent Grand Baie region for the first time.

“It is a privilege for Mont Choisy Le Golf to host the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and make our own bit of history in this event. As the only 18-hole championship golf course in the North, we look forward to welcoming the international field to our Peter Matkovich-designed golf course and trust they will enjoy the golf course as well as their week spent in the most prestigious address in Grand Baie at the Mont Choisy Golf and Beach Estate,” said Jyoti Jeetun, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Mont Choisy Group.

With a global television broadcast to almost 400 million homes, the 2022 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open will play a key role in reigniting the local tourism industry following the disruption caused by the global pandemic.

“I am delighted to see the return of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open. Mauritius has a strong golf tradition stretching back over 150 years, and the nation is home to some of the best golf courses in the world. We will once more welcome some of the best players in the game to compete at this prestigious event, as well as golf fans who will be there to cheer them on,” said Arvind Bundhun, Director of the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA).

Both the DP World Tour and Sunshine Tour welcomed the return of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to their schedules as part of the Strategic Alliance between the two Tours announced last year which builds on a relationship which dates more than quarter of a century. The return of the two Tours to Mauritius is the continuation of a history of professional golf excellence that has seen four-time Major winner Ernie Els, 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, 2011 Open Champion and 2016 European Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke, 2018 European Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Björn, and a host of former Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup players compete in this event in the past.

Ben Cowen, Chief Tournament Business Officer of the DP World Tour, said: “We are extremely pleased for the beautiful island of Mauritius and for our partners at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open to be able to announce the return of this unique event to our DP World Tour international schedule as part of our Strategic Alliance with the Sunshine Tour. It has been a popular event with our members ever since the tournament launched in 2015, and following the challenges of Covid-19, we are looking forward to celebrating its resumption at a new venue in Mont Choisy as part of our 2023 schedule.”

Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “It’s been a challenging time for the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, as it has for all of us in world golf. The return of this magical tournament is a true sign that we are back to normal in the world of professional golf and we cannot wait to celebrate this with all of our partners in this event.”

The other main sponsors of the event include Jaguar, Rogers, Heritage Resorts, IBL, Phoenix Beverages, Air Mauritius, Emtel, Mautourco and Hertz.


13th August 2022

Team Bremner and Rohwer the toast of Blue Valley

Chipping in on the 10th green and then making birdie on the 13th proved to be the key blows as Martin Rohwer and Merrick Bremner held off the chasing pack to win the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship by six strokes at Blue Valley Golf Estate on Saturday.

Rohwer and Bremner took a four-stroke lead into the betterball final round of this R1.2 million event, but that had all but evaporated as Combrinck Smit nailed a hole-in-one on the 173-metre second hole and then Erhard Lambrechts sank his second for an albatross on the par-five third hole.

But they are relative greenhorns compared to Bremner and Rohwer and the KwaZulu-Natal duo held their nerve superbly in tough, blustery conditions. Even so, they were only a couple of strokes ahead as they completed the front nine, before Rohwer chipped in for eagle on the 10th and Bremner made an important birdie putt on the par-five 13th.

“The wind was up today so it made it tough,” Rohwer said. “But we hung in there and dovetailed together quite well. The chip-in at 10 and then a huge birdie at 13 when Merrick chipped it almost dead, just pulled us clear a bit.”

“We had seen a scoreboard on the ninth so we knew exactly how well Erhard and Combrinck were doing. But we stayed pretty aggressive and those three shots gained made it much easier for us down the stretch,” Rohwer said.

Bremner and Rohwer birdied the 15th and then the par-five closing hole to finish with a 62 and 28-under-par overall. Lambrechts and Smit eventually posted a 61 to leave themselves on 22-under, alongside Jean Hugo and Hennie du Plessis, who were also 11-under on Saturday.

The victory was a particular relief for Bremner, a 36-year-old tour veteran for whom success has been elusive over the last year or so. It is his first victory since 2020.

For Rohwer, who claimed his second title at the Vodacom Origins of Golf final in January, the triumph rounded off a near-perfect week.

“It really helps with my exemption category which was going to run out in January. So now I’m in all the big co-sanctioned events and it’s just nice to win after putting in all the prep. It’s also massive for Merrick, who was great to have as a partner. It’s always special teaming up with a mate. And I absolutely loved the betterball-foursomes-betterball format, from start to finish,” Rohwer said.


188 – M Rohwer & M Bremner 60 66 62

194 – E Lambrechts & C Smit 65 68 61, J Hugo & H Du Plessis 63 70 61

195 – D Mostert & K Barker 65 68 62, D Fichardt & G Coetzee 62 70 63

196 – J Prinsloo & C Grobler 61 69 66

198 – D van Tonder & MJ Viljoen 63 67 68

199 – E Conradie & F From 57 75 67, L Brown & H Griffiths 64 67 68

200 – A Venter & R Korb 65 69 66, M Palmer & R Kaminski 63 70 67, L Filippi & R Van Velzen 61 70 69

201 – D Van Niekerk & S Bradley 66 71 64, K McClatchie & J Pennington 64 71 66, L Rowe & J Redman 62 71 68

202 – R Nortje & Q Wilsnach 63 73 66, L Albertse & H O’Kennedy 66 69 67, M Hollick & J Harvey 64 69 69

203 – C Swanepoel & M Spacey 66 70 67, CJ du Plessis & T Fisher Jnr 65 71 67, JJ Senekal & R West 65 70 68, W Dingle & R de Smidt 67 67 69, N Rama & K Van Wyk 63 70 70, H Bruiners & J Hess 61 72 70


12th August 2022

Bremner and Rohwer chasing team glory

Merrick Bremner is one of the longest hitters on the Sunshine Tour and his playing partner Martin Rohwer was delighted to be on his team as they surged into the lead in the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship at Blue Valley Golf Estate on Friday.

Rohwer and Bremner dominated the foursomes in the second round of this R1.2 million event, shooting a six-under-par 66, the low round of the day. That left them on 18-under-par overall going into Saturday’s final round, when the format returns to betterball.

The pair of Durbanites are four shots ahead of Danie van Tonder and MJ Viljoen (67), and Jaco Prinsloo and Clinton Grobler (69) on 14-under, while Luke Brown and Hayden Griffiths, and Luca Filippi and Ryan van Velzen, are on 13-under-par.

The seasoned duo of George Coetzee and Darren Fichardt are a further stroke back.

“Merrick is awesome to play with,” Rohwer said after their round of seven birdies and just one bogey, on their penultimate hole, the par-three eighth. “He has a cool head on his shoulders and is very chill. He makes it easy for me to relax and play my own game. And of course he hits it miles. I can’t remember how many lob-wedges or sand-wedges I had going into the green, but that obviously makes a big difference,” Rohwer said.

The 28-year-old Rohwer said he and Bremner had decided to use the same strategy for the foursomes as they did in the first-round betterball, in which they shot 60 to finish three behind leaders Estiaan Conradie and Fredrick From, who slipped down the leaderboard on Friday with a three-over 75 leaving them with Coetzee and Fichardt on 12-under-par.

And there will be no change of plan for Rohwer and Bremner in Saturday’s final round.

“It was a great day and we both played really well,” Rohwer said. “We took the same mindset we had yesterday (Thursday) into today (Friday) and that was just to try and birdie every single hole. Keeping our foot on the gas for the whole round really helped us for shooting 66. On the holes where there is risk-and-reward, it meant the first one off would go for it and if they pulled off the shot, then there was licence for the second shot to be aggressive as well.”

“Even though you tend to play a little safer in foursomes because you can end up with only one chance, being pretty aggressive helped us. So we’ll have pretty much the same gameplan for the final round. You’ve got to play well whenever you’re in with a shout in the final round. You can’t expect average golf to get the job done.

“So we will stick to the same gameplan as the first day betterball and try and give ourselves as many opportunities as we can, as many looks as we can. If we give ourselves two chances on every hole then anything can happen,” Rohwer said.


126 – M Rohwer & M Bremner 60 66

130 – D van Tonder & MJ Viljoen 63 67, J Prinsloo & C Grobler 61 69

131 – L Brown & H Griffiths 64 67, L Filippi & R Van Velzen 61 70

132 – D Fichardt & G Coetzee 62 70, E Conradie & F From 57 75

133 – H Bruiners & J Hess 61 72, J Hugo & H Du Plessis 63 70, M Hollick & J Harvey 64 69, D Mostert & K Barker 65 68, N Rama & K Van Wyk 63 70, M Palmer & R Kaminski 63 70, L Rowe & J Redman 62 71, E Lambrechts & C Smit 65 68

134 – W Dingle & R de Smidt 67 67, A Venter & R Korb 65 69

135 – JJ Senekal & R West 65 70, L Albertse & H O’Kennedy 66 69, K McClatchie & J Pennington 64 71

136 – CJ du Plessis & T Fisher Jnr 65 71, R Nortje & Q Wilsnach 63 73, C Swanepoel & M Spacey 66 70

137 – D Van Niekerk & S Bradley 66 71

Missed the cut:-

137 – F Manchest & Y Jung 65 72, R van der Spuy & A De Decker 66 71

138 – JH du Preez & T Gauche 63 75, JP Strydom & S Cronje 64 74, T Thimba Jnr & G Foster 63 75, A Van Dyk & R Joubert 67 71, H Loubser & H Konig 67 71, C Waugh & B Bawden 64 74, J Van Zyl & M Mitchell 67 71, M Calderon & B Bailey 62 76, S Ferreira & M Muthiya 68 70

139 – C Cannon & M Faber 64 75, M Vorster & A Breen 62 77

140 – O Strydom & S Wears-Taylor 66 74

141 – M Mazibuko & S Mwandla 66 75, T Mavundla & T Simon 66 75, K Davidse & P Karmis 66 75

144 – P Moolman & J Long 68 76, T Nel & A Gounden 68 76

145 – D O’Riley & M Kok 70 75, H Otto & D van den Heever 65 80

148 – A Haindl & J de Villiers 69 79

150 – A Michael & C Mowat 73 77

152 – W Jacobs & J Duminy 73 79