Most Sunshine Tour players find their way onto the European Tour through the host of co-sanctioned events on the schedule. Not so for Jake Roos (@RoosJake), who is currently third on the Challenge Tour Order of Merit and on track to earn his 2015 European Tour playing privileges through the feeder tour.
This week the 33-year-old from Irene has a spot at the Lyoness Open in Austria, which is a full event on the European calendar. It will give Roos a real taste of what it means to be a member of the elite, 42-year-old European Tour and highlight how he’ll need to adapt over the remainder of this season.
Roos has enjoyed a solid career on the Sunshine Tour and the first five of his six wins came from playoffs. In co-sanctioned events he has not yet risen to the occasion, but his form has been exemplary elsewhere.
At the start of the Challenge Tour season Roos won the Barclays Kenya Open, which has given him a spot at Diamond Country Club in Austria this week. A fortnight ago the Centurion Country Club member finished tied for fourth at the Karnten Golf Open and secured third place on the Order of Merit after surpassing the €40,000 point.
The top 15 earners from the 2014 Challenge Tour will receive full European playing privileges, but last year’s 15th-placed graduate earned more than double what Roos has in the bag at this point.
The week ahead does not concern the Challenge Tour, but for the promising South African it presents a real chance to break into Europe via the road less travelled. Watch out for Roos in Austria, because he’ll be hungry to prove himself.