“This has been a good season for me,” said the 25-year-old. “It would be great for my career if I could win the Order of Merit, and with summer coming I want to rise at the right time.”
Schwartzel has been the standout player on the development tour this season. A victory at Big Easy Houghton, coupled with a further four top-six results, means that he leads the field heading into the week at Ebotse.
The top 30 earners from the regular Big Easy season qualify for the tournament, which offers up a total prize pool of R250,000. At the end of the 54-hole Tour Championship the top five players on the Order of Merit will receive Sunshine Tour cards for the 2014 season.
Last year Teboho Sefatsa finished second at the Big Easy Tour Championship and went on to win the Order of Merit. A week later he won the Sunshine Tour’s BMG Classic, highlighting impact of the development tour.
Schwartzel was excited to have the chance to follow in those footsteps and claim a card of his own.
“It would mean a lot to me to win this tournament. It would also be great to win the Order of Merit, but the real prize is being able to tee up on the 2014 Sunshine Tour without going through all of those pre-qualifiers,” he said.
The Maccauvlei Golf Club professional has seen it all this year. He’s shot par or better in all but four of his competitive rounds on the Big Easy Tour. He’s gone as deep as 12-under after two rounds and still not won the tournament. He’s finished in the top 10 more times than not. And now he faces the Tour Championship ranked number one.
“I am pleased with the season that I’ve had and the Big Easy Tour has made a huge impact on my game. I’ve been playing well for a while now and I’d be very happy to win this week,” he said.