17th January 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Rowe aims for Asian success
South Africa’s Lyle Rowe has his sights set on making a name for himself on the Asian Tour after he earned his playing privileges via a gruelling five days of qualifying school.
After rounds of 70, 70, 67, 77 and 69 at the Q-School Final Stage, he joins his countrymen Jbe’ Kruger, Shaun Norris and Keith Horne on that tour and says the prospect of playing new courses and facing new challenges was too exciting for him to ignore.
“It was nice to see guys like Jbe’, Shaun and Keith doing well there,” he said of his interest in the East. “I had a few conversations with Keith at some of the (Vodacom) Origins tournaments and he told me how things were over there; how they take care of their players and how challenging it can be. So, I wanted to experience those opportunities.”
He joins that tour off the back of a decent season on the Sunshine Tour where he has made seven top-20s, with his highlights including an eighth-place finish at the Vodacom of Origins in Sishen and a second spot at the Investec Royal Swazi Open. He currently sits 36th on the local Order of Merit after 19 tournaments. Like many players who have gone on to seek greener pastures in global golf, Rowe credits the Sunshine Tour for a solid foundation in terms of his golf development.
“The Sunshine Tour is one of the greatest tours around,” he said. “The standard of competition is right up there with the best. There are not many tours like it so for me, it is one of the best tours to learn and become a competitive golfer.” He will know because players like Norris, while notwithstanding his achievements on the local circuit, have gone on to achieve a lot in Asia.
So, for his short-term goals, Rowe aims to steady himself and learn as much as he can while also trying to keep his card. “My aim is to finish within the top 60 this season.
“I don’t have a lot of support just yet since I am still trying to figure my way out there but once I settle, the aim is to play myself into the top 60 so I can keep my card,” he said.
Rowe is no stranger to tough competition as he has tasted success twice on the Sunshine Tour. He is the 2014 Zambia Sugar Open champion and 2016 Golden Pilsner Zimbabwe Open.