11th August 2022

Team Conradie and From set the pace at Blue Valley

Estiaan Conradie and Fredrik From proved on Thursday in the first round of the Bain’s Whisky Ubunye Championship at Blue Valley Golf Estate that neither ultra-aggression nor a conservative approach is an illness when it comes to the game of golf.

Conradie and From combined superbly in the betterball format on the first day of the R1.2 million event to claim a three-stroke lead, with 13 birdies and an eagle giving them a score of 15-under-par 57.

They finished three strokes clear of Martin Rohwer and Merrick Bremner on 12-under-par 60, while Jaco Prinsloo and Clinton Grobler, Heinrich Bruiners and Jacquin Hess, and Luca Filippi and Ryan van Velzen all posted 11-under 61s.

“It was a lot of fun. I enjoy betterball. It helps to be an aggressive player like me, with my partner backing me up really well. We worked well together and I’m super-happy,” Conradie said after the first round.

“Our style is a bit of a mix-and-match, but it worked for us with me being more aggressive and Fredrik more conservative.”

The fact that Conradie and the 33-year-old From dovetailed so well with their different styles of play actually complementing each other meant they were cruising from the start of their round.

Teeing off at the 10th hole of the Gary Player-designed course, Conradie and his Swedish partner birdied four of their first six holes, and he said they were in a happy mood as they approached the turn.

“We were in good spirits and then we got five birdies in a row, so we were really happy when we reached the par-five third. I hit the middle of the fairway and then Fredrik was in the middle of the green, 20-25 feet away in two and I put my second 10-12 feet behind the flag. He left his putt just short, which meant I had like a free putt and the perfect line. That was a really nice eagle to get,” he said.

Conditions were perfect for low-scoring on Thursday, but the 24-year-old Conradie said he expects the foursomes in the second round to throw up some different challenges.

“Conditions were perfect, there was just a light breeze and the greens were pretty good. You can’t ask for much better conditions to play golf. But playing foursomes means things will change a bit. But we’ve worked on our gameplan and our style of play will work quite well, I think.

“Foursomes has been a focus for us because we have not played a lot together and it’s something we’ll need to be good at. We have high hopes,” Conradie said.

The golfers will return to the betterball format for the third and final round on Saturday. 


57 – E Conradie & F From

60 – M Rohwer & M Bremner

61 – J Prinsloo & C Grobler, H Bruiners & J Hess, L Filippi & R Van Velzen

62 – L Rowe & J Redman, M Vorster & A Breen, M Calderon & B Bailey, D Fichardt & G Coetzee

63 – JH du Preez & T Gauche, J Hugo & H Du Plessis, D van Tonder & MJ Viljoen, T Thimba Jnr & G Foster, N Rama & K Van Wyk, M Palmer & R Kaminski, R Nortje & Q Wilsnach

64 – C Cannon & M Faber, C Waugh & B Bawden, K McClatchie & J Pennington, JP Strydom & S Cronje, L Brown & H Griffiths, M Hollick & J Harvey

65 – H Otto & D van den Heever, E Lambrechts & C Smit, A Venter & R Korb, F Manchest & Y Jung, D Mostert & K Barker, JJ Senekal & R West, CJ du Plessis & T Fisher Jnr

66 – T Mavundla & T Simon, K Davidse & P Karmis, L Albertse & H O’Kennedy, O Strydom & S Wears-Taylor, C Swanepoel & M Spacey, R van der Spuy & A De Decker, M Mazibuko & S Mwandla, D Van Niekerk & S Bradley

67 – H Loubser & H Konig, J Van Zyl & M Mitchell, W Dingle & R de Smidt, A Van Dyk & R Joubert

68 – P Moolman & J Long, T Nel & A Gounden, S Ferreira & M Muthiya

69 – A Haindl & J de Villiers

70 – D O’Riley & M Kok

73 – W Jacobs & J Duminy, A Michael & C Mowat


10th August 2022

Sunshine Tour announces new Blue Label Development Tour

The Sunshine Tour has announced another major step towards its development objectives with the launch of the new Blue Label Development Tour, a series of 10 18-hole tournaments to be played in Gauteng and teeing off this August.

The Blue Label Development Tour is a significant expansion of playing opportunities for recognised development professionals and will draw players from the Altron Big Easy Tour, the Sunshine Tour Qualifying Schools, the Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament and the Sunshine Tour Luno Order of Merit under various categories of eligibility.

Each tournament will be played on a Monday and will feature a field of 85 professionals playing for a prize fund of R50 000, with the top 10 earning a cheque.

In order to limit the expenditure for the professionals, all the tournaments will be played in Gauteng and there will be no entry fees.

The Blue Label Development Tour is an expansion of Blue Label’s already significant investment in the Sunshine Tour through the hosting of the Blue Label Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club.

Larry Nestadt, Independent Non-Executive Chairman of Blue Label, said: “I’m so excited that the Blue Label Challenge has grown to include the Blue Label Development Tour and what is now a hugely significant contribution to the development of professional golf in South Africa. It’s an honour for us to be able to provide these playing opportunities for development players, and in so doing to truly transform their careers and redefine what they themselves even believed could be possible through the game of golf.”

Brett Levy and Mark Levy, join CEOs of Blue Label, said: “We are proud to be associated with the Blue Label Challenge, and are now extremely excited about this extension of that vision into the Blue Label Development Tour where we can grow our investment into professional golf and our vision for a truly transformed professional golf landscape in South Africa.”

Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “This is a real gamechanger in terms of yet another opportunity for our development players to make use of the local pathways to get onto the Sunshine Tour. Blue Label has provided the perfect example of how we can work together to truly unlock the greatness in all facets of the professional game.”

Blue Label Development Tour Schedule

15 August : Waterkloof Golf Club

22 August : ERPM Golf Club

5 September : Kempton Park Golf Club

19 September : Modderfontein Golf Club

22 September : Services Golf Club

26 September : Benoni CC

17 October : State Mines Country Club

20 October : Venue to be confirmed

24 October : Wingate Park Country Club

27 October : Venue to be confirmed


6th August 2022

Coetzee defends at De Zalze

George Coetzee won his first ever Sunshine Tour victory on the Vodacom Origins of Golf series, and his love for it continued as he successfully defended his title at De Zalze Golf Club on Saturday.

Coetzee claimed a two-stroke victory in the winelands for his fifth victory overall on the Vodacom Origins of Golf series, which started 15 years ago when he announced himself with a win on the series in his rookie season on the Sunshine Tour.

It’s an achievement that now places him second on his own on the all-time list of winners on the series after Jean Hugo who has 11 titles.

Coetzee withstood a strong challenge from England’s Joe Long and closed with a 67 to win on 21 under par. Long had closed to within a shot of Coetzee with three holes to play but then bogeyed the 18th as he took second place on 19 under with a final round of 67.

Kyle Barker finished third on 15 under par in one of his best performances on the Sunshine Tour, signing for a 66.

Jaco Prinsloo continued his good form as he followed up his win in last week’s FNB Eswatini Nkonyeni Challenge with a sixth-place finish at De Zalze. Prinsloo has now finished third, ninth, first and sixth in his last four Sunshine Tour event.

This was the opening tournament on the 2022 Vodacom Origins of Golf series, with the next event taking place in Mpumalanga at the Highland Gate Golf & Trout Estate at the end of this month.


5th August 2022

Coetzee still leads in Vodacom Origins

George Coetzee tightened his grip on the Vodacom Origins of Golf at De Zalze Golf Club and will take a two-stroke lead into Saturday’s final round of this Sunshine Tour event.

Coetzee signed for a second round of five-under-par 67 to move to 16 under par overall as he looks to successfully defend his title and claim the 15th victory of his career.

But England’s Joe Long could still have a say as the 2020 Amateur Championship winner made a big charge on Friday with a sublime 10-under-par 62 that lifted him to 14 under par overall. Long even made two bogeys in that 62.

And six strokes back, Albert Venter is hunting his second win of the season after his triumph in the FBC Zimbabwe Open in May. Venter moved into contention with a second round of 68.

Coetzee was five shots clear at the start of the round but was held back by a double bogey on the par-three ninth, and was kept from running away with the tournament by Long’s round of the day.

Coetzee is looking to move into second on the list of all-time winners on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series. A win on Saturday would earn him his fifth Vodacom Origins of Golf title, placing him second behind Jean Hugo with the most wins on the series. Hugo has won 11 Vodacom Origins of Golf titles.


4th August 2022

Strong start for Coetzee in Vodacom Origins

George Coetzee made a strong start in defence of his Vodacom Origins of Golf title at De Zalze Golf Club when he opened with an 11-under-par 61 to lead by five shots after Thursday’s first round.

A win this week would earn Coetzee a special place in the 18-year history of the Vodacom Origins of Golf series, lifting him to five titles overall and placing him second behind Jean Hugo with the most wins on the series. Hugo has won 11 Vodacom Origins of Golf titles.

Coetzee won last year’s Vodacom Origins of Golf at De Zalze on the back of an opening 63, and he was in even better form on Thursday with a round of nine birdies and an eagle.

His nearest challengers are the group of Ryan Cairns, Adam Breen, Albert Venter and the in-form Jaco Prinsloo who all opened with rounds of six under par.

“It felt great. The course was beautiful. I left a few early putts short but then got the speed right and rolled in some nice putts on the back nine. The greens are so good, but the whole layout of the golf course is beautiful. In these 54-hole events it’s so important to get off to a good start in round one,” said Cairns.

Jacquin Hess, a member of the Sunshine Tour’s Papwa Sewgolum Class for transformation golfers, put himself in contention with a solid opening five-under-par 67.


3rd August 2022

Vodacom Origins and SAGDB helping SA youth go further together

STELLENBOSCH, Western Cape (3 August 2022) – The generational success of the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) was nowhere more clearly demonstrated than at this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament at De Zalze Golf Club, where a golfer who years ago started with the SAGDB is now a coach in the programme and has his own son enrolled in it.

Reuben Adams stood on the driving range at De Zalze on Tuesday assisting with the Vodacom Origins of Golf clinic with the SAGDB golfers and Sunshine Tour professionals, and which included his son Sergio Japhets.

It was a sight that brought a smile to the face of Shawn Adriaanse, the SAGDB Manager for the Boland Region.

“Sergio has been playing for Boland provincial teams for a while now. His dad, Reuben, was himself an SAGDB player and was one of the players with whom we first started the programme in Riverside in Worcester, and now he’s a coach there and helping to coach SAGDB golfers,” said Adriaanse, who has seen so many success stories like this over the years.

He is also quick to point out the important role the Vodacom Origins of Golf series plays in the work of the SAGDB.

“For our SAGDB golfers to see the Sunshine Tour professionals face-to-face means a lot to them because they usually just see them on television. To receive coaching from them and learn how they play on tour is so valuable for these young golfers. Just to see how it changes or helps a kid to go in a certain direction and see how their lives are changed still moves me.”

The young golfers at the Vodacom Origins of Golf clinic came from Riverside as well as Rietenbosch Primary School in Cloetesville Stellenzicht Secondary School in Jamestown.

“We’re extremely proud as the Vodacom Origins of Golf, to support the important work of the SAGDB. The very story we had here at De Zalze with the father and his son going through the same SAGDB programme is an origins story of success all on its own. To play a small part in a journey like that is very rewarding. For us it’s about making that difference in somebody’s life and developing the opportunities of individuals,” said Carol Hall, Vodacom Managing Executive: Western Region.

“This programme is so important for us to support because the SAGDB has that focus of not just making great golfers but using golf to help these scholars improve in their schoolwork as well and to give them better opportunities through the positive impact of the game.” Michael Vlismas

Photo Credits: Troy Winfield.



2nd August 2022

Brits keeps an eye on Vodacom Origins leaderboard, and his Bok teammates

STELLENBOSCH, Western Cape (2 August 2022) – Former Springbok Schalk Brits says he can’t recall ever seeing a Springbok team go into a Test against the All Blacks as such favourites as the current one, but that he also knows his former teammates will never underestimate their New Zealand opponents.

Speaking from the De Zalze Golf Club course on Tuesday where he is making his debut in this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf pro-am series on the Sunshine Tour, Brits’ mind was as much on his swing as it was his fellow Springboks preparing for their Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks in Mbombela this Saturday.

“For once the All Blacks have shown weakness. You have to give credit to Ireland and what Mr Farrell and his team are doing there. They were phenomenal in taking New Zealand on at their own game and the intensity and bravery with which they played was phenomenal. I definitely think Australia and New Zealand are missing the physicality of South African rugby. But do not underestimate the All Blacks,” said Brits.

With his debut appearance on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series, Brits joins an illustrious list of former South African rugby greats to have teed it up on the longest running pro-am series on the Sunshine Tour.

Francois Pienaar, Morné du Plessis, Rudolph Straueli, Nic Mallet, André Joubert, Breyton Paulse and Wayne Fyvie have all had their time inside the ropes on this series, which first teed off in 2004.

“Playing with the pros and seeing how they get around the course is amazing. It’s my first experience of the Vodacom Origins of Golf and I’m loving it. It’s quite a reality check as an athlete and an amateur golfer. You think you hit the ball far but then you get a pro who is half your size and hits it 30 metres past you. How they play the game is a thing of beauty to watch,” said Brits. – Michael Vlismas

Photo: Former Springbok Schalk Brits in action at the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament being held at De Zalze Golf Club on Tuesday. Credit: Troy Winfield.