20th April 2017 | Sunshine Tour
Day of reckoning for Q-School graduates
The 34 players who earned their Sunshine Tour cards at Qualifying School last month get their professional careers underway today in the 2017 Zimbabwe Open at Royal Harare Golf Club.
As tough as Qualifying School might have been, the reality of the matter is that now things will only get tougher. Travelling, living out of suitcases for weeks on end and a busy tournament schedule are just some of the factors the new recruits will have to deal with.
Add to that the imperative to qualify for many of the tournaments which have smaller fields during the winter, and it’s clear that making a career out of playing golf is not necessarily the easiest of things.
But not all is lost. They know that they all have an opportunity to join some illustrious names in the history books. Most recently, for instance, 2016 South African Open champion Brandon Stone won his first title in his rookie season and Christiaan Bezuidenhout achieved the same feat at Sun Fish River Challenge in October last year.
The rookie season is always the toughest season as players often don’t know what to expect in the professional ranks and thus struggle preparing. However, with such young players as Stone, Bezuidenhout and Haydn Porteous among others as examples, players like Herman Loubser who topped the leaderboard at Qualifying School can start believing that anything is.
While the top Qualifying School players were guaranteed a starting berth in Zimbabwe and other events, some who failed to earn their cards, like Teagan Moore and Bryce McCabe, secured their spots via a qualifier played in Zimbabwe on Monday.
More than anything else, the 2017 Zimbabwe Open will serve as an ice-breaker for many as they get a feel of life on tour while competing against some experienced and successful player. There’s no doubt, however, that most will be trying to emulate the successes of such players as Stone and Bezuidenhout as they try to make names for themselves in international golf.