Michael set for Kempton challenge

Rookie Michael Hollick will head for Kempton Park Golf Club this week, the venue for the fourth installment in the Sunshine Big Easy Tour presented by Stonehage, which starts Thursday.

The youngster burst onto the scene when he finished tied eighth at the Dimension Data Pro-Am in February, and will need the same form to succeed at this week’s R100 000 tournament.

The 24-year-old will celebrate his birthday on May 15th, and a good result at Kempton Park would provide perfect icing for the cake.

And Hollick has the skills to back it up – he represented the South African under-19 side twice as an amateur and most recently finished tied 10th at Big Easy Modderfontein on a two-under-par total.

He faces tough competition from Thabang Simon, who took a share of seventh at Kempton Park last year, and won at ERPM Golf Club a week later.

Simon has had a quiet season to date, making only two out of seven cuts on the Sunshine Tour. But the 36-year-old was in Big Easy contention throughout 2011 and had six top-20 finishes through the year, including tied second at the Tour Championship.

Joining the fray is Big Easy Houghton winner Toto Thimba, Jnr. He has been on a hot streak since his victory in March, taking 10th and 14th at Observatory and Modderfontein respectively.

His confidence came through at the Investec Royal Swazi Sun Open a week ago, where he led pre-qualifying after making a massive 21 points. A solid tournament ended with him snatching a share of sixth, and this week Thimba looks like the man to beat.

But for Hollick, who has had a few tastes of contention, this could be the week to shine. His skill has been proven, now he needs to rise to the occasion.

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