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17th November 2022

Papwa Sewgolum Class pro Bruiners awarded sponsor’s invite to Investec South African Open

In recognition of an “Out of the Ordinary” season so far, Investec awarded Heinrich Bruiners the sponsor’s invitation to compete in this year’s 112th Investec SA Open Championship.

As the highest-placed professional (not otherwise exempt) on the Papwa Sewgolum Class Order of Merit, Bruiners will, courtesy of Investec, join the 156-strong field at the Investec SA Open Championship and compete for an impressive prize fund of $1.5 million. The globally televised championship will take place from Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 December 2022 at the Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate.

Bruiners has been one of the leading performers in the Papwa Sewgolum Class in a season where he’s worked hard to reclaim the form that saw him win the 2013 Vodacom Origins of Golf at Euphoria Golf Estate. Bruiners has missed only three cuts on the Sunshine Tour this entire season and has had nine top-20 finishes, including a share of 12th place in the prestigious South African PGA Championship.

“Adding to the title sponsorship of the South African Open Championship, Investec is a proud patron of the Papwa Sewgolum Class for the next three years. Awarding the sponsor’s invitation is another way the brand is growing transformation in South African golf and enabling tomorrow’s stars to make the leap onto the professional circuit,” says Peta Dixon, Investec’s head of sponsorships.

“In light of our values of equality, belonging, inclusion and diversity, Investec takes tremendous pride in awarding a well-deserved player this Out of the Ordinary opportunity. We congratulate Heinrich Bruiners – it is an honour to afford him the opportunity to showcase his talent on the world stage come 1 December. May he enjoy his experience and know that the possibilities are endless,” added Dixon.

The 34-year-old Bruiners said: “I’ve reached the age now where I want to perform more than ever. I’m more motivated now than ever in my golf career”.

Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for Heinrich and we’re extremely grateful to Investec for awarding him a place in the Investec South African Open Championship. Investec shares the Sunshine Tour’s vision to transform South African professional golf and is a proud supporter of our Papwa Sewgolum Class. Heinrich’s place in our national Open will no doubt inspire our other Papwa Sewgolum Class professionals to keep working even harder to make their own dreams a reality.”

Caption (from left right): Sunshine Tour professional Heinrich Bruiners; Peta Dixon, Investec head of sponsorships; and Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour.

About the Papwa Sewgolum Class:

This initiative provides financial and other support to players who turn professional after graduating from the GolfRSA squad and similar programmes. This ‘bridging support’ plugs a gap that exists when the new professionals are no longer eligible for the assistance they enjoyed as amateurs. The Class is made up of Sunshine Tour professionals who are players of colour (male) who earn their cards on the Sunshine Tour. Approximately 61 professional male golfers of colour participate in the SAT transformation initiatives each year.

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30th October 2022

Smit joins SA stars with Vodacom Origins Final victory

MOSSEL BAY (29 October 2022) – Combrinck Smit added his name to an impressive list of Sunshine Tour stars who have all won on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series as he clinched the Final of this year’s series in a playoff at the Pinnacle Point Estate on Sunday.

Smit overcame a double-bogey on the 16th in regulation play and then battled through a sudden-death playoff against the experienced Jake Redman to claim victory.

With his win on this series, Smit joins the likes of Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Dean Burmester, George Coetzee, Justin Harding, Thriston Lawrence and a host of others Sunshine Tour stars to have won a Vodacom Origins of Golf title.

The KwaZulu-Natal professional had to birdie the 18th to make it into a playoff with Redman on eight under par. Redman had earlier signed for a 68 to lead in the clubhouse and was then joined by Smit following his 72.

Both played parred the par-five 18th as the first playoff hole. Playing the hole again, Redman pulled his drive into the fynbos on the left and was forced to take a penalty drop, from where he went on to make a double bogey. Smit parred the hole to take the title.

“It’s never a great thing playing against a good friend and such a great guy as Jake in a playoff. But somebody has to win and thank goodness it could be me,” said Smit.

He started the final round with a one-stroke lead and admits it was a hard day on the fairways, which began with a bogey at the first and then included that double bogey on the par-five 16th.

“I don’t really know what happened today. There were some surprising shots out there. I’ve clipped the fynbos quite a couple of times this week and I was a bit shocked after the 16th. But I just told myself to keep going and that I still had a great chance to win the tournament. I got it done in the end,” said a relieved Smit, who also wins a Jaguar F Type for use until the end of the 2022/23 season.

The tournament marked the end of yet another successful season of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series, which since 2004 has been the backbone of the Sunshine Tour’s winter schedule. 

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29th October 2022

Smit leads Vodacom Origins by one going into final round

MOSSEL BAY (29 October 2022) – KwaZulu-Natal professional Combrinck Smit will take a one-stroke lead into Sunday’s last round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at Pinnacle Point Estate and he remains determined to keep playing as aggressively as this golf course will allow.

“I need to just go out there and still play quite aggressively on the final day. There is never a big enough lead when it comes to the Sunshine Tour. I’ll have to go out there and shoot another low round,” he said.

Smit was as delighted as the rest of the field to be presented with a far calmer day on Saturday at Pinnacle Point after a Friday where the infamous wind ripped through the field and into some of the finest golf swings on the Sunshine Tour.

“Today was unbelievable out there. You could actually stand still and make a swing and a putt,” he joked after his third round of 67 to take the lead on eight under par.

His nearest challengers are Malcolm Mitchell and Albert Venter following their third rounds of 67 and 69 respectively.

Smit led the first round, but a 76 in Friday’s brutal weather cost him that position. However, it’s a measure of how tough the golf course played that day that his 76 still put him in a tie for third place. And Smit remained philosophical about his golf in those conditions.

“If the wind blows like it blew on Friday, then this is probably one of the hardest golf courses I’ve ever played. It was tough for everyone that day. But you can’t start doubting yourself based on a day like that. You can’t take it personally. You just keep trusting in your swing.

“I hit it pretty well again and was in play most of the time. I set myself up with some nice birdie opportunities and wasn’t in trouble off the tee, and I’ll just keep trying to do the same. All I can do is control what I can control and the rest will take care of itself.”

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28th October 2022

Rohwer battles brutal wind to lead Vodacom Origins Final

MOSSEL BAY (28 October 2022) – It was a 71 that felt like a 61 for Martin Rohwer as he came through a second round of intense wind to lead the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final by a single stroke at Pinnacle Point Estate on Friday.

In conditions that Rohwer said were of the toughest he’s ever faced in his career, the KwaZulu-Natal professional overcame a difficult start in which he was three over after the first two holes and managed to dip under par for his round and lead the field on five under par overall.

“After that start, if you’d told me I would shoot a 71 I wouldn’t have believed you,” said a relieved Rohwer following his double bogey and then bogey at his opening two holes.

“I knew I was on the back foot right there. I would say in this wind it was easily one of the toughest rounds of golf I’ve ever played. Some of the holes just played so hard. Even putting was hard. You’d stand over a three-footer with the wind howling and you just weren’t sure what it would do to the ball.

“There are also some tough stretches on this golf course. You can really have a run of holes here where you are just straight into the teeth of the wind all the time.”

Rohwer’s nearest challenger going into the weekend is Albert Venter, a two-time winner this year. Venter posted a level-par 72 to move into contention with two rounds still to come.

Overnight leader Combrinck Smit signed for a 76, but such was the difficulty of the day that it still has him in a tie for third on three under par alongside Ockie Strydom and Jacques P de Villiers.

Friday’s weather certainly took its toll on the field with only 11 players under par for the tournament and the cut falling on eight over.

“Look, anytime you’re leading it feels good,” said Rohwer. “But you just need to look at the scores today to know that you can’t rest on your laurels here. You’ve just got to take it one shot at a time, and hopefully by the end of the tournament that’s good enough.”


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27th October 2022

Smit takes his chance and leads Vodacom Origins

MOSSEL BAY (27 October 2022) – Combrinck Smit took advantage of a calmer day at Pinnacle Point Estate and posted a seven-under-par 65 to lead the first round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final on Thursday.

Smit’s round of nine birdies, one eagle, two bogeys and one double bogey earned him a one-stroke lead over recent winner Stephen Ferreira. Dylan Mostert, another winner on the Tour this year, is two shots off the lead. And Albert Venter, twice a winner this year, is well placed on four under par.

The slight drop in the wind compared to the previous two days in the pro-am was a welcome respite for the field.

“This golf course is always a beast and my experience is that the wind always blows here. So we were lucky that it was quite calm today,” said Smit, who has found some form on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series this year with a fourth-place finish in the Highland Gate tournament in August.

“I wouldn’t say I expected this round because I haven’t played my best golf over the last three tournaments. But golf is funny and you never know when it’s going to turn around. I hit the ball unbelievably well and that meant I had a lot of tap-ins for birdie putts. I think I only had a couple of birdie putts that were outside eight feet.”

Smit’s most prolific run of birdies came over the turn where he made six birdies in seven holes. Unfortunately there was also a double bogey on the par-three ninth in that stretch.

“I was too aggressive and had the wrong club and knocked it into the snake pit as they call it on that hole. But you know, overall you’re always happy with a low round on the first day. It puts me in a good position, and even more so with Friday’s weather looking very difficult.”

This week’s tournament is a 72-hole event which is a break from the traditional 54-hole tournaments on the winter leg of the Sunshine Tour. But it’s also perfect timing with the main summer schedule coming up in the next few weeks.

“We usually play three-round tournaments at this time so it’s great because you really want to make the cuts in those four-round events, and this is good for getting used to that.”