SERENGETI ESTATES, Kempton Park – Ockie Strydom started the current Sunshine Tour season as a player looking to make that step up in his career. He ends it at this week’s Tour Championship having done exactly this, with two DP World Tour wins and now Major Championship golf to look forward to as well.
Strydom goes into this week’s Sunshine Tour season-ending Tour Championship at Serengeti Estates as the top-ranked golfer on the Tour’s Luno Order of Merit. He cannot be caught this week so will end the season in first place.
This brings with it Major incentives for Strydom, including a place in The Open at Royal Liverpool as well as the US PGA Championship at Oak Hill, the latter coming via the Federation Ranking on the Official World Golf Ranking.
“I’m into two Majors at the moment, and I’m also hoping to get into the US Open through my ranking on the DP World Tour. So that could be three Majors this year, which would be a first for me. It’s challenging and exciting at the same time,” said Strydom.
“I’m trying not to approach anything differently. It definitely sounds nice to say I’m playing in Majors, and it’s a word that changes the mindset. But I’ll try and approach them as just another golf tournament where I have the opportunity to play against the best players in the world.”
Strydom’s first place on the final Luno Order of Merit will also secure him a spot in the Nedbank Golf Challenge later this year.
So it’s a rewarding week for Strydom, and on a golf course that always brings out the best in his game.
“It’s nice to be back here to finish off the Sunshine Tour season. I always play well on this course. I’m a more experienced golfer this year as well so hopefully it’s another good week for me.”
The field this week includes Casey Jarvis, who should wrap-up the Rookie of the Year award.
“That was one of my goals at the beginning of the year and I’m proud to have achieved it. I’ve only been a pro for about seven months and I’ve learned so much out here. I’m very happy with my first season,” he said. – Michael Vlismas