2013 countdown: No. 9 Oliver Bekker

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

 

No. 9 – Oliver Bekker

 

He started 2013 with his third victory as a professional, and it looked as if the year might lift him a notch higher than his very good 2012.

 

In the end, Oliver Bekker’s ninth-place finish on the 2013 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit was just one better than his 2012 season, during which he won his second title in the ‘summer swing’s’ Dimension Data Pro-Am.

 

It’s a career-high ninth on the Order of Merit, and a career-high R1,291,688.58 in earnings, and the final tournament of 2013 saw him in the final group of the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa and in contention for that first title in an event co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour.

 

Eventually, his closing 69 was not enough to stop Dawie van der Walt from winning with his final round of 62. And, were it not for bogeys in that round at 16 and 18, Bekker would have had a share of second and would perhaps have been able to put more pressure on Van der Walt.

 

He was philosophical about that finish, preferring to allow the spotlight to fall on his friend’s victory rather than dwelling on whatever shortcomings the chase for victory might have exposed. But those shortcomings are certain to come under the spotlight during the end-of-year break.

 

He followed his early victory with four more top-10 finishes, and that was probably not enough for the Stellenbosch man.

 

It will all be better for him if he is able to eliminate that one bad round from each tournament – and he would like to make things fall into place during the final round of a big one.

 

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