Dawie the PGA Tour rookie

Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship - Round TwoDawie van der Walt will begin his rookie season on the PGA Tour at the Frys.com Open this week, where he’ll look to transition onto the most competitive stage in world golf.

The 32-year-old, who first played in the United States during his college days at Lamar University, had a superlative season on the Web.com Tour and finished within the top 25 on the Money List, which earned him a PGA Tour card.

He won twice on the Web.com Tour during 2015 and eventually the big man from Cape Town finished second in the season’s earnings, but it was the experience he gained that will prove most handy at the Frys.com Open this week.

The two-time European Tour winner remained casual about the move upward to a level of competition that is unmatched on a global scale.

“I’ve just got to continue to look back and follow the confidence of how I’ve been playing this year,” he said. “It’s still golf. The courses might be a little tougher and everything, but I’ll definitely have some confidence coming from the Web.com Tour.

“You see a lot of players coming from this Tour and doing well out there. If you can come through this Tour, I think you’re good enough to play out there.”

Also starting up a new season this week is Tyrone van Aswegen, who two years ago earned his PGA Tour card for the first time.

He rallied late on Sunday at the Web.com Tour Championship to retain playing privileges on the PGA Tour and this time around he’ll be aiming to secure his card much earlier in the season.

Thomas Aiken also picked up his card, but his category on the PGA Tour prevented him from playing this week’s tournament. He’ll be itching to tee up and certainly has enough experience from the European and Sunshine Tours to handle himself out there.

“I’ve had 10 good years in Europe,” he said. “I’ve finished in the top 60 of money each of the last seven years. As a kid, I played junior golf over here (in America), and my dream was always to play on the PGA Tour. I happened to go the European route first, and it had become more and more difficult to transition over here.

“I’m not saying that I wouldn’t play in Europe as well, because I enjoy playing globally and growing the game of golf. But it’s a dream come true to play a full season out here.”

PGA Tour veterans Rory Sabbatini, Tim Clark and Charl Schwartzel will also tee up at the Frys.com Open, which begins on Thursday at Silverado Country Club.

© 2016 Sunshine Tour. All rights reserved. Website constructed by OCS Sport