With rounds of 74-70-70, Sunshine Tour professional Chris Erasmus has got himself inside the top 30 after three rounds of the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School being played at Bloemfontein and Schoeman Park Golf Clubs.
It’s the fourth round of the five-round marathon that’s going to be important to the man who turned professional in 2010, and ended up spending 2011 away from the tour after a very poor start to his career.
Because after the fourth round that a cut will be made, and the field will be whittled down from the original 236-man field to the top 60 and ties – and then after the final round at Bloemfontein Golf Club, the top 30 players and those tying on the same score will be rewarded with their Sunshine Tour cards for 2014.
Erasmus came back to touring action in 2012, after his fifth-place finish in the Qualifying School for that year, and he managed to have a decent year, with a share of fifth in the Indo Zambia Bank Zambia Open the cherry on the cake for him: He finished 90th on the Sunshine our Order of Merit that year, with winnings of R73,780.
But 2013 was not quite as successful, and he finished 104th on the Order of Merit, just outside the top 100 who retained their playing privileges for 2014. His best performance was a share of 13th on the Polokwane Classic, and his biggest prize cheque coming from his share of 38th in the Telkom PGA Championship.
So it has been back to school for the 28-year-old who plays out of Pearl Valley in the Western Cape.
And now he faces the tension of making sure every shot counts over the final push to the finish line, a race which is going to tell him whether the future holds an improvement over his 2012 season – or perhaps it holds some other way of making a living.
He is one of more than a dozen experienced Sunshine Tour professionals in a similar position inside the top 30 after the third round – and they all face the same tensions as the weekend rolls around in the Bloemfontein heat.