He had 10 top-10 finishes on his way to his best year on the Sunshine Tour last year, and although Merrick Bremner has only three so far this year, he’s on his way to making 2014 even better.
He’s in the Czech Republic this week for the D+D Real Czech Masters on the European Tour, but he’s in 13th spot on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, three below the 10th he finished last year, and with a tidy total of over R750,000 in prize money, he’s on course to have his most financially successful year on the Sunshine Tour since he turned professional in 2005.
He came close to victory in last month’s Sun City Challenge at the Lost City with his third-place finish, two strokes behind Dean Burmester, and he came ninth in February’s Tshwane Open and seventh in April’s Telkom Business PGA Championship in his 10 tournaments this year.
His European sojourn since Sun City has been a little frustrating – a share of 59th in the M2M Russian Open and a missed cut in last week’s Made in Denmark tournament – but Bremner is nothing if not resilient, and is quite likely to find his feet now that he has been on the road for a while enough to get acclimatised.
Bremner is one of a number of South Africans taking advantage of a series of invitations into European Tour events at this time of the year.
Oliver Bekker is another. He finished one position above Bremner on last year’s Sunshine Tour Oder of Merit, and he’s currently in 21st on the 2014 list. With only one top 10 so far this year, he’s got a lot of work to do if he’s to emulate last year’s success. He did somewhat better than Bremner in Russia, with a share of 26th, but he, too, missed the cut in Denmark.
There are eight other South Africans playing in the tournament in Prague, which gets underway on Thursday: Jbe’ Kruger, Haydn Porteous, Justin Walters, Keith Horne, Hennie Otto, James Kingston, Dylan Frittelli and Brandon Stone make up the total.