Erik leads 10 players into Tshwane Open

They eventually got it done, and Erik van Rooyen led 10 players into the Tshwane Open as the pre-qualifier at Irene Country Club was completed on Wednesday morning.


With 12 players tied on four-under-par 68, darkness descended before the play-off between those players could be completed to determine the four who would join the six who had got in automatically.


Van Rooyen headed up those six with his six-under-par 66, while Morne Buys, Grant Veenstra, Callum Mowat, CJ du Plessis and Gert Myburgh all carded five-under-par 67s.


Roberto Lupini, veterans Nic Henning and Omar Sandys, and Tyrone Ryan emerged from the play-off, with Mark Williams the last man to lose out. The other unlucky losers were England’s Oliver Wilson, and locals Rhys West, Kevin Stone, Desne van den Bergh, Louis Calitz, Wynand Dingle and Ryan Tipping.


The top 10 from Irene all go into the 156-man field for the €1.5-million tournament at The Els Club Copperleaf co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour, where they will be up against a quality field including defending champion Dawie van der Walt.


Other South Africans who are also international winners in the field include Thomas Aiken, Darren Fichardt, Hennie Otto, George Coetzee, James Kingston and Jbe’ Kruger.


Van Rooyen finished 10th in the Sunshine Tour 2014 Qualifying School in Bloemfontein in January, and the 24-year-old who plays out of Douglas Golf Club in the Northern Cape made the cut in the Joburg Open and finished in a share of 42nd to take home the biggest cheque of his career – R111,150.


The Tshwane Open gets underway on Thursday at 6.30am.


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