Redman under microscope at Observatory

Jake Redman goes into the Sunshine Big Easy Tour event at Observatory Golf Club tomorrow hoping for the kind of form which will give him a professional victory early in a career which promised much when he was an amateur.

Redman, who was ranked as high as third in the South African amateur lists before he won the 2010 Sunshine Tour Qualifying School, managed a share of 16th in the first Sunshine Big Easy Tour event at Crown Mines, and a share of seventh in the second at Irene Country Club.

He had a solid if unspectacular rookie year on the Sunshine Tour, finishing 102nd on the Order of Merit in 26 starts with R50,337 in prize money.

He’s been unable to break into the top 30 in any of his 2011 starts, and the Sunshine Big Easy Tour is designed for players like him – the 36-hole format and R100,000 prize fund allowing professionals who don’t get regular starts in Sunshine Tour events to play competitively in 10 tournaments with a season-ending Tour Championship in their sights.

The first event was won by Bryce Easton, who plays in the Sunshine Tour’s Nashua Golf Challenge this week, and the second by Tyrone Ryan, who is in the field at Observatory.

Ryan heads the Sunshine Big Easy Tour Order of Merit, with Easton second and Thabang Simon third after his share of second place at Crown Mines and of 20th at Irene.

So with the Observatory event heralding the first time that a Sunshine Big Easy Tour event is scheduled at the same time as a Sunshine Tour tournament, the new series will showcase exactly what it was developed for – and a player like Redman may make the transition to being able to contend regularly.

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