CAPE TOWN – The Sunshine Tour tees off its first tournament of 2023 in this week’s Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open at the Royal Cape Golf Club. It marks the start of a four-week stretch of tournaments co-sanctioned with the European Challenge Tour, and with South Africa’s Dylan Mostert amongst those looking forward to taking advantage of the opportunity on offer.
The left hander finished off 2022 with finishes of 18th in the Joburg Open and fourth in the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, both co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour. That was on the back of a ninth-place finish in the South African PGA Championship.
It’s a run of form that’s lifted him into sixth place on the Sunshine Tour’s Luno Order of Merit, and he’s looking to build on this momentum, starting in Cape Town this week.
“I can’t wait for these next four weeks. I’m excited and ready to go. I had some good time off after a very long stretch towards the end of last year. I think the most pleasing aspect of my form has been the consistency. I’ve worked very hard to become more consistent during tournaments and in different conditions and on different golf courses. It’s been really pleasing for me to see that paying off,” said Mostert.
A number of South African professionals have recently used the Sunshine Tour’s partnership with the Challenge Tour to take their careers to the next level and ultimately secure a place on the main DP World Tour.
Mostert’s game has been on the rise ever since he broke through with his maiden Sunshine Tour victory in the KitKat Group Pro-Am last June, and he’s certainly aware of the reward if he does well over this four-week stretch.
“I’ve put myself in a nice position and I’ll just keep my head focused on my goals and keep pushing forward,” he said.
The historic Royal Cape Golf Club also suits his eye.
“This is just a great golf course. You’ve got to be good off the tee here. I’ve been hitting my driver well so hopefully that plays in my favour. But it’s just a great golf course that tests all aspects of your game, and then you can add the wind to that. It will be a good test.”
Jaco Prinsloo, currently ranked fourth on the Sunshine Tour Luno Order of Merit, is equally excited about what this next four weeks will bring, especially after his ninth-place finish in last December’s Investec South African Open.
“I have goals and things I want to accomplish, but I’m taking it one step at a time and just trying to do my job every day. Expectation can be a dangerous word. I feel like if I just do the basics well then the goals and results should follow. So I’m just keeping it simple.”
This week’s tournament also marks the start of the Sunshine Tour’s new competition offering golf fans the opportunity to test their skills and see if they can beat a professional in a par-three shootout under tournament conditions.
Any golf fan over the age of 18 can enter by purchasing a ticket to attend one of 10 selected Sunshine Tour events, including this week’s Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open. And then 10 lucky fans will be selected to take on the professionals on the par-three eighth hole at Royal Cape Golf Club during Sunday’s final round, and see if they can finish closest to the pin. The winner earns a place in the grand final at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open later this year, where the overall champion will win an all-expenses paid trip to the Major of his or her choice in 2024.
– Michael Vlismas