SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

24th March 2024

Emotional Bruiners wins Stella Artois Players Championship

DAINFERN, Johannesburg – Heinrich Bruiners woke up at 1:30am on the day of the final round of the Stella Artois Players Championship and had the number of eight under par in his mind. Several hours later he shot an eight-under-par 64 to end an 11-year win drought with his emotional victory in this Sunshine Tour event at Dainfern Golf Estate on Sunday.

Bruiners birdied his final three holes to finish on 28 under par, one shot ahead of Jaco Ahlers (66), Michael Hollick (68) and Haydn Porteous (68).

It was an emotional win for a man who has worked so hard to reclaim the form that saw him win the 2013 Vodacom Origins of Golf, and who has had to overcome a car accident, serious injury and sometimes even his own doubts as he’s fought his way back into the winner’s circle.

“It’s been such a long journey to stand with a trophy again. I never stopped believing, but it was tough. But everyone behind the scenes has been supporting me. The Nomads, the guys on the driving ranges – I’m so grateful for those who have been behind me. When you’re on top everybody wants to be part of the victory but there is a lot of darkness and searching to get to the top,” said Bruiners, who finished before the final group and was on the putting green preparing for a playoff before he broke down in tears when it was confirmed that he had won.

“I just want to thank everybody involved and everybody who supports the Sunshine Tour. My fellow professionals have stepped up to another level and it’s pushed me to work even harder. We all fight to get on the big stage and it’s really nice to stand here with a trophy. I told my girlfriend I’m going to do something special this week. It’s crazy. It’s written in the stars,” he said.

This week showcased some of the best scoring seen on the Sunshine Tour as players threatened to shoot 59 while a number of golfers had 29s for nine holes. It was exactly the realization of how the standard of golf is improving on the Sunshine Tour that Bruiners says pushed him to work even harder at his own game.

“Everyone has been playing so well and the standard of golf is unbelievable. I remember shooting four under at Glendower Golf Club in a regular Sunshine Tour event and finishing in the top 10. This year, four under on the same golf course was just the cut at the Jonsson Workwear Open. It’s unbelievable.” – Michael Vlismas.

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

23rd March 2024

Porteous shares lead into final round of Stella Artois Players Championship

DAINFERN, Johannesburg – Haydn Porteous drew on the “good thoughts and good feelings” of the golf he knows he’s capable of playing to claim a share of the Stella Artois Players Championship lead headed into Sunday’s final round at Dainfern Golf Estate.

Porteous signed for a third round of 63 to share the lead on 23 under par with Keenan Davidse (63) and Michael Hollick (64).

Their nearest challenger is former champion Jaco Ahlers on 21 under par following his 66 on Saturday.

It’s been seven years since Porteous won and he’s keenly aware of that as he chases a victory on Sunday.

“It’s no secret that I’ve really been struggling over the last few years and definitely not playing to the kind of standard that I know I’m capable of,” said Porteous.

“But that’s golf. I think a lot of it is about growing up and dealing with a few more thoughts than normal. At first I was reacting to those thoughts, but slowly but surely I’m beginning to understand them and recognise them as just thoughts, and just stick to what I’m trying to achieve.

“We battle with these negative thoughts and I felt like I was putting a lot of emphasis on those thoughts. Now I recognise them as bad thoughts, and I’m trying instead to focus on the good thoughts and good feelings and focus my energy on the good rather than the bad. It’s making a big change in my game. Over the last six months I’ve been playing better, and this week was a good opportunity for me to do something in light of where I am on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit delivered by The Courier Guy.”

As much as he’s been working on his mind, Porteous’ game inside the ropes has been equally solid this week.

“Looking at the previous scores for this tournament I knew we needed to take it low. The par fives are there for the taking and I’ve done that well. My iron play has also helped me a lot this week. It’s been a pretty nice week so far.”

While admitting it’s obviously been a while since he’s contended, Porteous said he’s feeling confident going into the final round.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been in this position, but we live for these moments. It’s been difficult for me to enjoy the game while not being able to feel these feelings over the past few years. A lot of the time I found myself hanging around the cut mark, and that’s not where I want to play my golf.” – Michael Vlismas.

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

22nd March 2024

Sunshine Tour pros on fire in Stella Artois Players Championship

DAINFERN, Johannesburg – When Heinrich Bruiners was asked what it will take to win the Stella Artois Players Championship at Dainfern Golf Estate this weekend, the co-leader laughed. After another day of incredible scoring, it feels as though nothing short of a 59 will be needed to claim victory on Sunday.

“I can’t believe it. The amount of rounds of 10 under par I saw today was incredible. I think the winning score will be around 27 under or 28 under with the way things are going. It just shows the level of golf on the Sunshine Tour,” said Bruiners, who is in a four-way tie for the lead on 15 under par going into the weekend.

Bruiners secured his place at the top of the leaderboard with a bogey-free 65. He is joined there by Michael Hollick who also signed for a 65, Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi who posted a 64, and 2022 champion Jaco Ahlers who shot an incredible 62.

They are only one shot clear of a host of players on 14 under par including first-round leader Rourke van der Spuy.

But further down the leaderboard the scoring was still equally impressive on Friday.

Wynand Dingle worked his way to within two shots of the lead with a bogey-free 61. JJ Senekal also heads into the weekend on 13 under par following a 62. And Ryan van Velzen and Nikhil Rama both had nines of 29 to lift them to 11 under par overall.

Bruiners says it’s a reflection of the standard of golf being played on the Sunshine Tour, and it’s inspired him to work even harder at his game.

“I think people out there would immediately assume the golf course is a lot shorter, but we play it off the back tees. Look, you can go out and try and shoot those scores. It’s just awesome to see the standard the Sunshine Tour is at. It’s really impressive. It’s also been an added boost for me to work even harder.

“I’m excited. It’s so nice to be in the mix and leading the tournament. I enjoy it when I’m up there. I know people feel there’s expectation, but this is what I work for and I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made.”

It’s now been 11 years since Bruiners’ last victory on the Sunshine Tour and he says he’s more motivated than ever to prove he can win again.

“This has been the cumulation of a lot of things. I’ve changed my golf ball and made a few equipment changes, but I’ve also worked very hard. I’ve been driven to work even harder and keep making changes. Since Covid I’ve been grinding it out. I just want to feel like I can win again. That’s a big thing for me. I know people say you should play to make a living, but my biggest drive is to win on the big stage and I won’t stop until I get it right. I feel like I’m on the right path and have a bit more clarity about what I need to do. I’ll just hang in there and be patient until it’s my time.” – Michael Vlismas.

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

21st March 2024

Van Der Spuy claims early lead in Stella Artois Players Championship

DAINFERN, Johannesburg – Rourke van der Spuy set the tone for what should be another low-scoring Stella Artois Players Championship with his opening nine-under-par 63 to lead the incomplete first round of this Sunshine Tour event by a single stroke at Dainfern Golf Estate on Thursday.

Van Der Spuy’s putting was superb as he rolled in nine birdies – starting with back-to-back birdies over his opening two holes – and didn’t make a single bogey.

His nearest challengers are Heinrich Bruiners, Daniel van Tonder, Haydn Porteous and Michael Hollick following their rounds of 64. Luca Filippi, who challenged for this title last year before Kyle Barker claimed the victory, is once again in contention after opening with a round of seven-under-par 65.

The round was suspended at 17:06 due to dangerous conditions. The first round will resume at 07:15 on Friday morning, with 24 players still to complete their rounds.

But even before he teed off on Thursday, Van Der Spuy was well aware that it was once again going to take some low scoring to win this week.

It was at this tournament last year where Casey Jarvis shot a 59 in the third round to equal the lowest round in Sunshine Tour history, and scores of 29 over nine holes are also not uncommon.

“The tone has been set in this tournament over the last few years so you know what to expect. Before I teed off there were already a couple of six-, seven- and eight-unders up on the leaderboard. And then with what Casey did last year, you just know that it’s out there,” said Van Der Spuy.

It’s certainly a golf course that suits Van Der Spuy’s eye, but the critical differentiator for him on Thursday was his putting.

“The difference today was I just made a few putts. That’s normally my Achilles heel. I made a nice putt on the first and birdied the second, so I got off to a good start which opens up the floodgates a little bit. If I can make a couple of putts like I did, then that’s when low scores are out there.

“It’s also one of those courses where I like every shot off the tee boxes. You know that if you hit good tee shots, the par fives are reachable. I didn’t make any eagles today, but you know there are eagles out there. And the greens are just so solid, so it’s just an all-round good experience if you’re hitting it in the right places. I hit a lot of fairways and those I did miss, I was still in position. So I really set myself up well off my drives today. It’s just a matter of keeping the ball in play like I did and giving myself as many chances as possible.” – Michael Vlismas.

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

20th March 2024

Ugandan golf hero in Stella Artois Players Championship field

DAINFERN, Johannesburg – Uganda’s Ronald Rugumayo, who created a global sensation when he became the first Ugandan to make the cut in a DP World Tour event in February, will tee it up on the Sunshine Tour in this week’s Stella Artois Players Championship at Dainfern Golf Estate.

Rugumayo is well known to the Sunshine Tour and its fans, having played on the Tour before. But he became a global golf sensation when he became the first Ugandan golfer to make the cut in a DP World Tour event – the Magical Kenya Open – in February.

It was a moment that even drew headlines in the United States on the PGA Tour, was reported on by Sky News and celebrated by some of the top professionals in the game.

In September last year Rugumayo made his first cut on the Sunshine Tour in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Western Cape where he finished tied 42nd. He also achieved a runner-up finish on the Blue Label Development Tour last year.

This week’s field includes both the previous champions of the Stella Artois Players Championship in Jaco Ahlers and Kyle Barker.

They add to a quality field that will tee off in Thursday’s first round.

Ryan van Velzen, the leader on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit delivered by The Courier Guy, is also in the field alongside Robin Williams, the leader on the Fortress Rookie of the Year standings.

The field includes eight of the top 10 players on the current Sunshine Tour Order of Merit delivered by The Courier Guy.

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

12th March 2024

Pros team up with Jonsson Workwear as they go from reading greens to support reading in rural schools

JOHANNESBURG – Professional golfers read a lot of yardages. They read greens. They even read the weather. But quite a few of them are also very much at home reading a book, and they were more than happy to support the Rally to Read initiative at the Jonsson Workwear Open at Glendower Golf Club last week.

As part of Jonsson Workwear’s Birdies for Purpose, every birdie, eagle or albatross the professionals made in this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour event saw the company donate R100, R500 and R1000 respectively to its official tournament charity – Rally to Read.

A total of R262 000 was raised, with the cheque handed over to Alupheli Sithebe, the Deputy Chairperson of the Rally to Read National Steering Committee.

Rally to Read was launched in 1998 as a public-private partnership to help improve the language, literacy and communication skills of learners at selected disadvantaged primary schools in remote rural areas following an international survey of 43 countries in which South Africa finished last with 81% of the country’s Grade 4 learners unable to read for meaning in any language.

“Jonsson Workwear have been critical to the programme. The consistency of their support allows the ongoing long-term partnerships that the schools need. It’s hard to change the capacity of a school in a year to elevate their literacy capabilities, so having the consistency of support from Jonsson Workwear means we are able to see that process through,” said Sithebe.

Jonsson Workwear’s support has helped the initiative reach 925 schools, 15 000 teachers and 620 000 learners. This year alone, 60 schools, 22 096 learners and 564 teachers will benefit from Rally to Ready support.

“We’ve been involved with Rally to Read for over 20 years, and several years ago we became the lead sponsor. It’s an incredible initiative and there is such a dire need for it in our country. We thought this was another way we could highlight the amazing work they do and assist them with funding, and we’re thrilled to have done that this year,” said Nick Jonsson, Chairman and CEO of Jonsson Workwear.

It’s an initiative Sunshine Tour professional Peter Karmis can relate to as one of the most avid readers on Tour.

“I generally read at tournaments. I find it gives me something to look forward to. I’ll even read during rain delays. It also helped me a lot when I played in Asia. Reading is essential. You gain knowledge and perspective.”

In terms of his own reading preferences, Karmis says he’s focused on fiction at the moment.

“I’m reading a lot of novels at the moment. I love non-fiction but 12 months ago I decided to read novels. I was inspired by my daughters who go to the library all the time and come home with 13 books. I’m currently reading the Italian author Valerio Manfredi. And I’ll be honest, I love the Jack Reacher books. The problem with the Reacher books is that I get too into them. So at a tournament in Zimbabwe, one night I was reading this really tense part and I kept reading. I think I only got about three hours sleep that night, which is not great for tournament preparation but I loved it.”

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

10th March 2024

Manassero claims fairytale win in dark at Jonsson Workwear Open

JOHANNESBURG – Matteo Manassero marked his return to the DP World Tour winner’s circle in a dramatic victory befitting of the journey he has been on over the past 11 years when he won the Jonsson Workwear Open in the dark at Glendower Golf Club on Sunday.

With a late weather delay putting the finish of the Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned tournament in doubt, play resumed at 18:00 and Manassero completed a finish of four straight birdies for a 66 and a three-stroke victory on 26 under par.

“It’s unbelievable. It’s wonderful to experience these emotions again on a golf course,” said Manassero, whose journey from golf prodigy to the wilderness of the game and then back again is one of the great fairytales in the game.

“It’s incredible. It’s really difficult to put into words. I’m definitely proud of what I’ve been through. But I also don’t want to look at the past and the tougher times. I want to enjoy the moment. To finish like I did was incredible. I’ve been through a lot of emotions and it seems like it was written somewhere that after the restart I would finish with two more birdies.

“When the final putt went in you kind of have a drop in emotions that build up over the past few days. It feels so good to relieve those moments. That’s what we practice for,” he said as he delivered his winning speech in the dark, but with a smile that truly lit up the 18th green.

South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence (63), Shaun Norris (68) and England’s Jordan Smith (68) shared second place on 23 under par.

For Nick Jonsson, Chairman and CEO of Jonsson Workwear, this was indeed a fairytale victory worthy of their investment in the game.

“We’ve loved our association with golf and it’s a huge honour to partner with the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour. Anything we are involved with has to echo our own values as a company, and our involvement with golf has been good for us,” he said. Michael Vlismas.

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

9th March 2024

Manassero chasing dream win in Jonsson Workwear Open

JOHANNESBURG – Matteo Manassero held his nerve and the lead on another low-scoring day at the Jonsson Workwear Open and will head into Sunday’s final round chasing his first DP World Tour title in 11 years.

The Italian signed for a third round of 67 that was briefly interrupted by a weather delay and heads the field on 20 under par.

His nearest challengers are South Africa’s Shaun Norris and England’s Jordan Smith on 19 under par following their respective rounds of 65 in this Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned tournament.

And the leaderboard remains tight thereafter with South Africa’s Oliver Bekker and Spain’s Angel Hidalgo just two shots behind Manassero.

Manassero did a superb job of keeping his emotions in check following his stunning 61 on Friday, and even after a bogey at the third he showed the hard mental work he has done to go from golf prodigy early in his career and then battle through a long slump to get to this moment again.

“It was good today. I hit a bad shot on three but it’s never easy in the beginning of the round. This course requires a lot of precision off the tee. After that bogey I did my things right and it was one of those days I allowed myself to get into the rhythm and started playing better as the round went on,” he said.

Manassero is of course keenly aware of what a story his victory on Sunday would represent in golf, but is doing his utmost to focus on the present.

“It would mean a lot to win. But it is already a nice journey up to today. We’ll think about tomorrow tomorrow. It’s really difficult to close tournaments out and win. I’m in a position I’m really happy to be in and all I can do is not force anything or feel like I must do something tomorrow. I’ll just be myself and play golf. I’m sure of the things I do, and you never know what golf will bring you. There are a lot of things not under my control that will happen tomorrow so I’ll just play my game,” he said.

Just one shot behind him, Norris leads the South African challenge. He had a putt on the final green when the siren sounded for the weather delay. Unfortunately he returned to make bogey, but he isn’t letting that distract him from the challenge of Sunday.

“A delay will always have an impact, but it happens. Overall I’m pleased with the day and where I am. I’m hitting the ball well and putting well. Patience will be key on Sunday. If I can go out there and give myself maybe 15-20 foot chances on every hole I’ve got a good opportunity,” said Norris. Michael Vlismas.

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

Spectators can purchase tickets to the Jonsson Workwear Open online at

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

8th March 2024

Magical Matteo shoots 61 to lead Jonsson Workwear Open

JOHANNESBURG – In the City of Gold, Matteo Manassero struck gold on the fairways of Glendower Golf Club and stunned the Jonsson Workwear Open field with a magnificent 11-under-par 61 to earn himself a one-stroke lead heading into the weekend of this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour event.

Manassero responded to a perfect day primed for something special as he went out in 28 on the back nine – including two eagles – and then came home in 33 with not a single bogey on his card for the lowest round of his professional career, earning him the lead on 15 under par.

“It was fun. It was one of those days when golf gives you a lot more than you deserve,” he said of one of the lowest rounds ever posted on the venerable Glendower layout, although not an official course record because of preferred lies.

“It’s amazing, and to do it on this golf course which is one of the main ones in South Africa is really special,” he said.

His nearest challenger is South Africa’s Oliver Bekker on 14 under following a second consecutive 65, and he’s followed by Northern Ireland’s Tom McKibbin (64) and the Spanish duo of Angel Hidalgo (64) and Ivan Cantero (67) on 13 under.

But Friday belonged to Manassero who admitted that at one point he started to think about the magical 59.

“Yes, I definitely did. I was trying to give myself a chance. I had two birdie chances – one was really close but it was a tricky putt. You can’t get everything. But I did think about 59 and the fact that I even thought about it means a lot. I’ve never even come close to that number, so it was fantastic. It was a perfect round.”

The confidence this round has brought him as he’s been on his well-publicised journey back onto the DP World Tour cannot be underestimated.

“The fact that I managed to get back on the DP World Tour already shows that I did a lot of good work, but I don’t want to look too much into the past. I get confidence for myself out of what I’ve done to get back onto the DP World Tour, but that’s about it. We look ahead, and then we have days like these – hopefully more than just once in a lifetime. But we also have bad days so we need to stay focused on getting better. Whatever Tour you’re playing, it’s never easy. The fact that I’m back here makes me proud. But I want to look ahead now and get better.”

Behind him, Bekker foresees a birdie-packed weekend.

“If you look at the scores so far, 15-under-par through two rounds is leading so there are plenty of birdies out there. You need to keep pushing. You can’t play too safe,” said the South African. Michael Vlismas.

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

Spectators can purchase tickets to the Jonsson Workwear Open online at

SHARE ON: [addtoany buttons='facebook,twitter,email']

‘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.