It’s a special week on the Sunshine Tour as we visit Ebotse Links for the first time since the 2008 BMG Classic. The famed Peter Matkovic links-style layout plays host to the third of six Sun International events this year.
This time last year, the third Sun International event was being played at Bloemfontein Golf Club and Dean Burmester claimed the third of his four wins on tour in 2015.
Two weeks prior to Burmester, Michael Hollick notched up his first win on the Sunshine Tour at the Sun Sibaya Challenge at Mount Edgecome Country Club.
With no defending champion at Ebotse Links, the players will be eager to test out their tournament golf on a truly beautiful Gauteng based links golf course.
Who to watch
Hollick, who stared a run of four consecutive top-10s with his win at Mount Edgecome last year, will be returning to action after suffering a surfing injury in July.
As always, Jacques Blaauw will be a favourite, and after his play-off win at Sishen Golf Club two weeks ago, he will be looking to cement win number five on tour.
Theunis Spangenberg, the man who took Blaauw up the 18th at Sishen for an extra hole will be another favourite to look out for. Spangenberg hasn’t quite shown the consistency this year he is known for, but the 33-year-old has impressed with his last six outings on tour, racking up five top-30 finishes.
Vaughn Groenewald and Jaco Ahlers return after taking time off and both will be looking to add a sixth Sunshine Tour victory to their achievements.
Ruan de Smidt will be looking to improve on some final day mishaps. The man from Krugersdorp has found himself in the mix no less than five times this season. Four top-10s in his last six starts including a share of second at the Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge and a share of third at the Vodacom Origins – Sishen prove de Smidt has the game, however there’s no doubt he’ll be looking for a first win since the 2015 Nedbank Affinity Cup.
Ebotse links is the only Inland Links golf course in South Africa. Since its opening, Peter Matkovic and Hardus Marits, the golf superintendant, have made subtle changes to the playability of the course that have made it more playable to the pubic.
Ranked as the 32nd best course in South Africa, the condition of the course improves year on year and it’s the slick greens that the pros are most vocal about.
Ebotse Links has been referred to as Peter Matkovich’s ‘little secret’ as no one really knows what a spectacular course he has created. Since day one Peter Matkovich has said, “Ebotse is a wonderful opportunity to create an environmentally sensitive and balanced golf course, combining links, lakeside and parkland.”