2013 countdown: No. 3 Jaco van Zyl

The eighth in a series of profiles of the top 10 players on the 2013 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit:


No. 3 – Jaco van Zyl


When you finish third on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, you have to feel you’ve had a good year. And Jaco van Zyl had a good year – with three victories, it was a very good year.


And yet – he will feel frustrated at the way things finished off for him, with his best performance in the three season-ending tournaments co-sanctioned by the EuropeanTour coming in the South African Open Championship where he had a share of 12th. But a share of 29th in the Alfred Dunhill Championship and of 40th in the rain-curtailed Nelson Mandela Championship did not bring him the kind of satisfaction that his share of second in the Africa Open way back in February behind Darren Fichardt had promised.


However, his victories all came in important tournaments: The first was in the Dimension Data Pro-Am when he edged England’s Daniel Brooks by a stroke; the second came when he won his second Telkom PGA championship, his final round 69 holding off a charge by rookie Dylan Frittelli; and his third was in the roller-coaster play-off with Hennie Otto to win the inaugural Investec Cup.


His frustration will be because he is ready to step up to that level required to be a regular winner on the European Tour, and the breakthrough victory could so easily have come in 2013. But he had a torrid time abroad, and he managed a best of only 16th in the season, in the Open D’Italia Lindt.


He will have regrouped during the festive off-period and will no doubt attack the co-sanctioned events which start the year in South Africa with renewed vigour – in the knowledge that he can win and win well at home.


He will have the consolation of knowing he had his fifth consecutive finish inside the top 10 of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, his third-place winning him a career-high R 3,027,749.04.


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