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2nd May 2024

Albertse leads field of champions at Royal Johannesburg

JOHANNESBURG – Louis Albertse rose to the fore in a field of champions as he opened with a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 to lead the Sunshine Tour’s new Waterfall City Tournament of Champions powered by Attacq by two strokes at Royal Johannesburg’s East Course on Thursday.

As one of the select professionals in a 34-player field that has brought together champions from the Sunshine Tour, Sunshine Ladies Tour and the elite amateur ranks of GolfRSA, Albertse got off to the perfect start in the chase to the R1-million first-place cheque come Sunday.

The winner of last season’s KitKat Cash & Carry Pro-Am opened with a birdie on the first and added a further four birdies and an eagle to carry him to the top of the leaderboard.

With this also being the first tournament of the Sunshine Tour’s new 2024-25 season, Albertse has clearly picked up from where he left off.

He finished last season with four top-10s on his way to his best-ever finish of third on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit delivered by The Courier Guy, which has also secured him a DP World Tour card for this season.

His nearest challengers are Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi, Gerhard Pepler, amateur Ivan Verster and Scottish women’s professional Kylie Henry all on five under par.

Ryan van Velzen, the winner of last season’s Sunshine Tour Order of Merit delivered by The Courier Guy, came through the opening round five shots off the lead.

Top GolfRSA amateur Altin van der Merwe, the winner of the inaugural Africa Amateur Championship at Leopard Creek in February and who recently also won the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School Final Stage, opened with a round of level par 72.

And Robin Williams, the Sunshine Tour’s Fortress Rookie of the Year for last season, started his week with a round of one-over-par 73. – Michael Vlismas.