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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.