If anyone knows his way around the Royal Swazi Sun Golf Course, it’s Arthur Horne: His father Arthur is one of 10 life members at the club, and that local knowledge could come in handy at this week’s 11th playing of the King’s Cup.
Horne is one of 74 players vying for the winner’s share of the R200,000 purse on the Big Easy Tour. That’s double the normal haul for the Sunshine Tour’s ‘development’ circuit, and it won’t hurt his chances that he had a good 50th place finish in the main tour’s Investec Royal Swazi Sun Open at the course back in May.
The man who was Swaziland’s number one amateur from 2007 to 2012 also has a pair of top-20 finishes on this year’s Big Easy Tour, and if ever there was a place to make the step up onto the podium, the picturesque course in the Ezulwini Valley which has seen some great performances over its more than half a century is it.
Horne is one of 12 Swaziland players in the field which features players from eight countries who will be playing in the 36-hole stroke play tournament, which will be followed by a pro-am for the top 30 players on Saturday.
Schooled at Hilton College, the man who turned professional in 2012 is trying to play his way to a card on the Sunshine Tour – and the Big Easy Tour aims to give players a chance to acclimatize to the professional golf circuit in South Africa by enabling them to play competitive tournament rounds. There are seven regular events on the schedule, with a Tour Championship that caps off the season.
A decent performance – and more especially a victory – can lift him into the top 30 from his current 38th spot on the Big Easy Tour Order of Merit. That would give him a spot in the Tour Championship which is scheduled for September 14.