Richard Sterne is a player that really breaks the mould. This is no Bubba Watson or Jim Furyk, this is a 170cm-tall six-time European Tour winner who reached 33rd in the world before back injury halted his rise.
The Pretoria local comes from a sporting family: his father is involved in motor racing, his mother was a noted ice- skater and his sister was one of the top squash players in South Africa.
Sterne established himself by dominating South Africa's amateur scene by becoming the first South African to win both the junior and senior national Strokeplay and Matchplay titles.
After turning pro in 2001 he went on to play in the 2002 European Challenge Tour, graduating to the European Tour in 2003. His first victory came in 2004 at the Open de Madrid, an event he needed to win to retain his card. After an incredible run of victories in 2008, which included the South African Open Championship, the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the Joburg Open, Sterne won the 2008 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.
His untimely back injury came during the 2008 season and he spent years recovering, but in February 2013 he made his return to competition and got straight back to winning ways at Joburg Open.
Currently ranked 65th in the world and 34th in the Race to Dubai, Sterne has been quieter than usual this season, but his talent is undoubted. This week at Royal Liverpool is a great chance for Sterne, who finished tied for 21st at The Open last year, to once again pit himself against the best.