There may have been 242 hopefuls, but only 15 spots were available from the SA Open pre-qualifying round and battles played out across Benoni Country Club, Irene Country Club and Glendower Golf Club on Tuesday.
The 2011 SA Open will be played across Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate and those 15 qualifiers complete the 156-man field to take on the Â1-million Sunshine Tour finale.
At Benoni Country Club PG van Zyl and Zimbabwean Sean Farrell shot 65 – the lowest scores for the entire pre-qualifying – and closed in a shared lead at seven-under.
A shot back were Argentinian Julio Zapata and Mark Williams, and a further stroke off the pace was Danie van Tonder, who took the fifth and final spot with a birdie at the 16th.
The real firework at Irene Country Club was amateur Lean Boezaart, who ignored a bogey at the second and carded five birdies during the round to claim a spot.
Irene pre-qualifying was led by big-hitter Darryn Lloyd and Garry Hill, while a shot behind them Lyle Rowe and Bennie van der Merwe carded 68 to join Boezaart.
Frenchman Julien Guerrier took the top spot at Glendower Golf Club when he carded a solid 68 to finish a stroke clear of Ryan Cairns.
Four payers finished at two-under and the only playoff of pre-qualifying ensued. Ockie Strydom, Scotsman Alastair Forsyth and Rynardt Combrinck made their way through, while Adrian Ford missed his shot at SA Open glory.
With names such as Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Simon Dyson in the field the gauntlet has been thrown down, but the 15 have earned the right to accept that challenge.