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8th March 2024

‘Iron and Grit’ earns Davidse share of Jonsson Workwear Open lead

The tagline for the 2024 Jonsson Workwear Open is “Iron and Grit”. South Africa’s Keenan Davidse has had to show exactly this as he’s worked through an extremely difficult time in his personal life, but ended Thursday’s first round of this tournament a content man both inside and outside the ropes.

Davidse signed for an eight-under-par 64 at Glendower Golf Club to share the lead with Spain’s Ivan Cantero. They are one stroke clear of a strong South African challenge including Thriston Lawrence, Oliver Bekker and Louis de Jager, with the in-form Robin Williams just two shots back.

Davidse was delighted with his start in this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournament, and spoke with a sense of relief at feeling a balance in his life and game again.

“I’m on a good foot again. We’ve had some personal challenges as a family and it’s been tough, but we’ve overcome it. That’s my motivation at the moment – my wife and my kids. We all know it’s a tough life out on tour. Golf can bring you down. But with my family and my golf I’m in a good space, and I think that’s what’s motivating me,” said Davidse.

The South African is no stranger to leading a DP World Tour co-sanctioned event, having also done so in the 2017 Joburg Open. But it’s a lesson he learnt last week, where he finished tied 16th in the SDC Championship, that he’s tried to bring into his game here.

“I made 27 birdies last week to finish 16th. I made nine birdies today and one bogey, so I told myself if you limit the bogeys you can score because I make enough birdies,” he said.

Behind him lies the experience of multiple DP World Tour winner Lawrence, who was equally pleased with one of his best opening rounds of late.

“I just had a great day. I had fun and stayed patient and it worked out pretty nicely. I don’t think I’ve shot seven under in a first round in a while. To be up there on day one really helps me. I know I’m good over a weekend, but it’s important if you want to win to go low on day one.”

And on six under par, Williams finds himself in contention for a maiden DP World Tour title for the second week in succession after losing a playoff for last week’s SDC Championship.

“I had time to reflect on last week. This week is a new week on a course I enjoy so I’m looking forward to it. I feel this golf course suits me. Getting so close last week shows that what I’m working on is right and hopefully it’s just a matter of time.” – Michael Vlismas.

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7th March 2024

Moller makes his mark for Birdies for Rhinos

Birdies for Rhinos, the vision of Sunshine Tour professional Justin Walters in aid of rhino conservation, celebrated its latest champion ahead of this week’s Jonsson Workwear Open at Glendower Golf Club.

Denmark’s Niklas Norgaard Moller added his name to the spectacular rhino trophy after making 417 birdies last year. The money raised by the professionals is donated to Connected Conservation in aid of rhino conversation.

“It feels really good to make a difference,” said Moller.

“I’m from Denmark so I’m far away from where this is all happening, but animals have always been close to my heart and this was an initiative where  I could not just talk about making a difference but actually do something. I feel very proud to be part of it.”

Walters was delighted to hand over the trophy to Moller.

“Niklas is a wonderful player and the rhinos are very happy he’s on board with us. He also the prize to Sabi Sands Game Reserve,” Walters said of an initiative he remains extremely proud of.

“It’s about raising money and awareness for the plight of rhinos. It’s a small part that the professionals on the various tours make. They donate money for every birdie they make in the year and we pool the money and hand it over to Connected Conservation, who have made wonderful strides in protecting wildlife around the world. It started as something small and its gathering momentum now. Tommy Fleetwood came on board last year and he’s brought a lot of clout with him.”

Bruce “Doc” Watson, the Executive Chairman of the Connected Conservation Foundation, also praised the work of the professionals in supporting their cause.

“It’s making a big impact. We now cover 29 reserves primarily in Africa and the East, and this makes a dramatic difference in the work we do.”

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6th March 2024

Jonsson Workwear Open adds to Major opportunities for Sunshine Tour pros

JOHANNESBURG – This week’s Jonsson Workwear Open at Glendower Golf Club has taken on even greater significance with the announcement by The R&A of its exemption categories for The 152nd Open at Royal Troon in July.

A new exemption will offer players competing on the Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour, the Japan Golf Tour, and the PGA Tour of Australasia the opportunity to qualify through the International Federation Ranking list. The leading five golfers on the International Federation Ranking list as of the closing date of entries will be awarded places in The Open. This would include the winner of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit delivered by The Courier Guy who has met the qualification criteria of tournaments played on the Sunshine Tour and who is also currently not exempt for The Open.

The Jonsson Workwear Open is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour and is the final such co-sanctioned tournament of the current Sunshine Tour season, and therefore another vital opportunity for this week’s field to try and secure a place in The Open.

The Joburg Open offers another opportunity as part of the Official Qualifying Series for The Open. The Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour alliance provides another pathway to The Open through the top 30 on the final Race to Dubai Ranking for 2023.

The added exemption category announced this week is another major endorsement of the opportunities that exist on the Sunshine Tour through events such as the Jonsson Workwear Open.

“You see so many players on the Sunshine Tour getting onto the main DP World Tour and winning and going on to do really well. The Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour alliance is a great pathway for the Sunshine Tour professionals. Obviously the standard here is really good. The courses are also always good in South Africa,” said English professional Jordan Smith.

“It’s massive,” added South Africa’s Robin Williams, who has been challenging for a maiden DP World Tour title in these co-sanctioned tournaments of late.

“It first comes down to the Sunshine Tour and the product they give us as players each week. That prepares our game for the next level in the co-sanctioned tournaments. There have been players on the Sunshine Tour this season that have also done really well in DP World Tour events.”

The four-day Jonsson Workwear Open will be televised live on SuperSport.

Spectators can purchase tickets to the Jonsson Workwear Open online at

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5th March 2024

Jonsson Workwear Open and Glendower GC bring back fond memories for pros

JOHANNESBURG – The Jonsson Workwear Open and Glendower Golf Club hold fond memories for several of the professionals competing in this week’s Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour event, which is also the final co-sanctioned tournament in South Africa this season.

Germany’s Nick Bachem returns as the defending champion after making his DP World Tour breakthrough with victory in this event last year, when it was played at Steyn City.

“I’m super excited to be back even if it’s a different golf course. But having had a look at Glendower it looks pretty nice. It feels good to come back to a tournament where you have a positive feeling and I’ll be trying to repeat it,” said Bachem.

He comes into this week in good form after finishing tied fourth in last week’s SDC Championship.

“I’ve had a great season with so many good things to learn. I played nice last week so I’ve got a lot of confidence coming into this week. But my focus is still the same as it was last year when I won – play golf and have fun,” he said.

South Africa’s Robin Williams also had good memories as he drove through the Glendower Golf Club gates, having won his first Sunshine Tour title here in the Fortress Invitational last October.

“You have to play well around this course. There is no hiding here. It’s definitely a driver golf course – if you drive the ball well you can score. That’s what worked for me when I won here last year – my driving was good,” said Williams.

He returns to Glendower having narrowly lost a playoff for a maiden DP World Tour title in last week’s SDC Championship, but still confident about the week to come.

“There are a lot of positives from last week. Yes it was a shame I couldn’t get the job done, but my time will come. I’m playing good consistent golf and I’m happy to be back at a golf course that suits me and where I’ve had success.”

And England’s Jordan Smith is back at a golf course where he finished third in the 2017 BMW South African Open, missing out by only one shot on a spot in the playoff between Rory McIlroy and Graeme Storm.

“That was back in 2017 but it only feels like yesterday. It’s great being back and enjoying those good memories. This is a challenging golf course off the tee. You hit a lot of driver here and it can get pretty narrow in places. The wind that blew in the pro-am could be interesting, especially for us Europeans getting used to the altitude here in Johannesburg.”

This is the third edition of a tournament that has travelled to some of South Africa’s leading golf courses, starting with Durban Country Club then Steyn City and now Glendower Golf Club.

“We are delighted to bring the third edition of the tournament to the highly rated Glendower Golf Club and look forward to building on the success of our two previous events. We’re grateful for the opportunity to welcome world-class golf talent and spectators to another showcase of fantastic golf set against the backdrop of the beautiful Glendower Golf Club. And of course, an opportunity for us to promote peak performance on and off the course. As always, we value the time we get to spend here in Gauteng where we operate nine of our stores and our state-of-the-art Distribution Centre,” said the Chairman and CEO of Jonsson Workwear, Nick Jonsson.

“The Jonsson Workwear Open has been an immensely valuable addition to our schedule of DP World Tour co-sanctioned events. This year signifies another important milestone for this tournament as it will be played at a championship layout such as Glendower that holds an illustrious place in South African golf, having witnessed some of the finest moments in Sunshine Tour history. It’s a privilege for us as the Sunshine Tour to work with a brand that is equally forward-thinking and focused on the kind of excellence that golf in this country represents, and which helps us in taking the message that #GreatnessBeginsHere to the world,” said Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour.

The four-day tournament will be televised live on SuperSport.

Spectators can purchase tickets to the Jonsson Workwear Open online at

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3rd March 2024

Emotional playoff victory for Gumberg in SDC Championship

ST FRANCIS BAY (Eastern Cape) – America’s Jordan Gumberg claimed a thrilling victory in the SDC Championship at St Francis Links on Sunday when he beat South Africa’s Robin Williams in a playoff.

Gumberg and Williams finished regulation play tied for the lead on 12 under par following their respective final rounds of 68 and 69.

On a day when the wind of the previous three days gave way to rain, Williams had seemed destined to claim the victory as he held a two-shot lead over the American with two holes to play.

However, the South African found the greenside bunker on the par-three 17th and made a double bogey from a plugged lie to slip back into a tie for the lead with Gumberg.

They both parred the par-four 18th as the first playoff hole. Gumberg then birdied the hole on the second attempt to claim his maiden DP World Tour and Sunshine Tour title.

“I’m so thankful to be standing here,” said Gumberg at the end of a dramatic final round.

“Coming down the last couple of holes there is always a point where it feels like it’s slipped away from you. It felt like that for me. So I’m just thankful to be standing here.”

Frenchman David Ravetto took third place on 10 under par with a final round of 70.

The win changes Gumberg’s plans significantly. Before this he was a European Challenge Tour golfer unable to plan his schedule.

“It means everything. I never really got this far in my dreams. It’s what we work so hard for every single day. To my family back home – my dad has put so much into my golf game. It means the world to all of us,” he said while holding back the tears. – Michael Vlismas

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2nd March 2024

Syme and Brown tied at the top in SDC Championship

ST FRANCIS BAY (Eastern Cape) – Scotland’s Connor Syme and England’s Daniel Brown will take a two-stroke lead into Sunday’s final round of the SDC Championship at St Francis Links, with Robin Williams leading the lone South African challenge two strokes off the lead.

On another day when the wind made for a few extra conversations between player and caddie, Syme controlled his ball flight superbly as he signed for a third round of 67. Alongside him, Brown went into the round with a three-stroke lead and birdied the first to suggest it was going to be all his day. But two bogeys on the front nine and then a difficult stretch of three bogeys in four holes from the turn brought him back to the field. He fought back with three birdies thereafter for a solid 72. They both lead on 11 under par.

Syme summed up just how difficult the changing winds here are when he said, “It’s like playing a different golf course entirely”.

Yet he managed it superbly as he put himself in a position to finally claim a DP World Tour victory after coming close several times. It was a round in which he also won himself a four-night MSC luxury cruise as part of the Sunshine Tour’s Beat the Pro competition, offering amateurs the chance to see if they can hit it closer to the pros in their group on the par-three 15th. With no amateur able to do so, Syme earned the prize as the closest pro on the hole.

“I putted really nicely today. It’s always tricky in the breeze to judge your pace but I did that well today. It was also all about controlling your ball flight and you’ve got to shape your ball both ways around here. I’m really happy with how I did that today.”

Syme, who finished in the top 20 in this event last year, said he’s under no illusions as to the challenge that awaits on Sunday.

“The conditions are so tricky and there are so many great golfers here that it’s going to be tight until the finish on Sunday. But I was here last year and earmarked it as having another go at it this year. It’s a very similar links challenge to back home in Scotland. I’m taking it as it comes and looking forward to the challenge.”

England’s Andy Sullivan, American James Nicholas and South Africa’s Williams are their nearest challengers on nine under par. Williams had worked himself to within one shot of the lead before a bogey at the last. – Michael Vlismas

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1st March 2024

Brown beats the wind to lead SDC Championship

ST FRANCIS BAY (Eastern Cape) – It’s been a tale of two winds through 36 holes of this year’s SDC Championship at St Francis Links, and they’ve both blown favourably for England’s Daniel Brown as he heads into the weekend with a three-stroke lead in this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned event.

With the wind switching completely from the first round, Brown was still able to negotiate his way into the lead on 11 under par with a second round of 67.

It’s been a remarkable performance considering his late arrival to the tournament after missing his flight and going straight into this event without a practice round.

“I didn’t expect it. Maybe I should do it more often,” he said of his unusual preparation for this week.

His nearest challengers are South Africa’s Robin Williams and Shaun Norris on eight under par following their respective second rounds of 67 and 71.

The switch in wind caught many in the field off guard, with Pieter Moolman going from sharing the first-round lead to fighting to make the cut.

Even Brown had a double-bogey on his card on Friday. “It was a completely opposite wind so it took a bit of getting used to,” he said.

“Holes that were easy yesterday were really tricky today. As soon as you play two or three shots you realise it’s going to be a completely different challenge. I managed to scrap it around a bit in places and hang on. So you just take it one hole at a time and figure it out from there.”

Having been one shot off the lead going into the second round, Brown seemed to really click late on his second nine when he finished his day with an eagle and two birdies in his final four holes.

“I had a really good finish. I’ve played really good the last two days but something really clicked in that

stretch where I kept hitting it close which is nice.”

Brown enjoys the St Francis Links layout and finished in the top 10 in this tournament last year, and he’s looking forward to a weekend where he has a shot at a second DP World Tour title.

“Matt Baldwin (2023 champion) was miles ahead last year so there was no chance of catching him. I’ve always felt comfortable on this golf course so hopefully that continues into the weekend.”

Behind him, both Williams and Norris are equally confident of the challenge to come.

“I enjoy this course and I’m getting used to what I need to do to put myself in contention in these events. I’m playing good consistent golf so we’ll see where it puts us,” said Williams.

“It wasn’t easy out there and you needed a lot of patience, but it turned out nicely. The putter is working nicely so let’s see,” added Norris. – Michael Vlismas