By Michael Vlismas
South African golf’s status as a breeding ground of talent is recognised worldwide, and it’s what convinced young Englishman Henry Featherstone to spend his rookie season as a professional on these fairways. It’s also close to being the best decision he’s made.
The 25-year-old shares the lead alongside Andrew Curlewis in the Vodacom Origins of Golf presented by Samsung on five under going into Saturday’s final round at the Langebaan Country Estate.
Featherstone played high-level amateur golf in England and when he turned professional, he asked some good golf brains where he should start his career. The resounding answer was the Sunshine Tour.
“I spoke to quite a few friends from management companies and who know about golf, and they said I should just take a look at the sort of names that have come through the Sunshine Tour. When you look at it that way, then it’s a no brainer. I have always enjoyed competing and they said if you come out here you’ll definitely be competing against top players.”
As a host of several European Tour co-sanctioned tournaments and with a number of exemptions on offer through the Sunshine Tour, Featherstone says South Africa is widely recognised as the quickest way to progress onto the European Tour.
“A lot of players have told me that playing the Sunshine Tour is the best and quickest way onto the European Tour. So far it’s been awesome. The conditions here are perfect, the facilities are great and the level of golf is great. I tell my friends that if you can’t play golf in this country then you’re going to struggle. All the golfers here are very good.”