Players’ awards 2011

The Sunshine Tour acknowledged its top players on Tuesday ahead of its richest tournament, the €1.3-million Joburg Open, an event co-sanctioned with the European Tour.

At a function at Summer Place, Garth Mulroy was handed the Sid Brews Trophy for winning the 2011 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit. Mulroy won last year’s Alfred Dunhill Championship and was runner-up in the Joburg Open, and he had top-10 finishes in two other events – the Telkom PGA Championship and the South African Open Championship.

He also came 21st in the Dimension Data Pro-Am and 37th in the Nashua Masters.

He earned R3, 464,463.00, with second-placed Hennie Otto on R2,806,214.00.

Branden Grace was awarded the Gary Player Trophy for being the player with the leading stroke average in a minimum of nine tournaments.

His average of 69.41 was achieved over a total of 26 rounds in seven tournaments, and it was bolstered by his performance in the Telkom PGA Championship, where he was shared third behind George Coetzee with a 72-hole total of 23-under-par. He had rounds of 65-64-67-69.

The Bobby Locke Trophy for the Rookie of the Year was won by Allan Versfeld. The 21-year-old rode the success of his Joburg Open performance, where he came seventh, but he also had five other top 10s during the year.

His best showing came in the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Sishen where he came second behind Adilson Da Silva.

The Players’ Player of the Year was Jean Hugo – an honour accorded the three-time winner in 2011 by his fellow professionals after a ballot held amongst the top 120 players in the 2011 Order of Merit.

He won three events in the Vodacom Origins of Golf series – at Pretoria Country Club, Simola and the final at Legend Golf and Wildlife Estate.

George Coetzee took the Golf Writers’ Award. It was awarded to the Sunshine Tour member who, having played at least nine tournaments in South Africa in 2011, the media believe was the most significant newsmaker of the year in South African professional golf.

The Sunshine Tour Commissioner’s Award, nominated by senior management of the Sunshine Tour, went to 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel as the player who best epitomised the true professional – a player who consistently represented the tour in the most effective way; was respected by his fellow professionals and treated them with respect; and was an ambassador for the game as well as the Sunshine Tour.

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