Van Aswegen right on the cusp

Tyrone van Aswegen played some superb golf this past week at the Albertsons Boise Open on the Tour, and eventually finished in sixth place. It might have been even better for the man from Johannesburg, but a slightly disappointing final round of 70 in benign conditions saw him end up five strokes adrift of winner Luke Guthrie, and one stroke adrift of the four-way tie for second.

However, it should not take the gloss off what was a fine performance. And his timing could hardly have been any better either. The cheque he pocketed for $ 26,100 saw him rise 14 spots to 27th on the money list, edging him tantalizingly close to a place in the coveted top 25 which would secure a card for next year’s PGA Tour.

Van Aswegen came into the Albertsons Boise Open on the back of some poor form, and had missed five of his previous six cuts. However, the strong finish has well and truly resurrected his campaign, and he is now right in the mix with five tournaments to go before the Tour Championship at the end of October. With so many variables at stake, it’s hard to speculate exactly what will earn him a place in the top 25. But more performances like this will surely get him to where he needs to be.

Another South African who is mounting a strong challenge to progress to the PGA Tour next year is Dawie van der Walt. The big man from Paarl is on the move after recording his third consecutive top 20 finish this past week, and now sits just behind van Aswegen on the money list in 29th place.

The most striking thing about van der Walt has been his consistency, and that he has only missed three cuts this year is testimony to his level-headedness. He came so close to victory at the Cox Classic in May after a blistering final round of 60, but he eventually had to settle for a sole second-place finish.

With so much on the line, there could be some unimaginable pressures on the players in the final rounds of these upcoming events. But van der Walt is collectively 21-under par in the final rounds of his last five tournaments, and this is surely a statistic that will stand him in great stead as we come to the business end of the season.

The 2012 season also marks the final year in which there is a direct route from qualifying school to the PGA Tour. This has certainly attracted the attention of a lot of players worldwide, and one of those is Trevor Fisher Jnr.

Having been victorious in his last two outings on the Sunshine Tour, the man from Edenvale is perhaps in the form of his life, and looks set to peg it up at the first qualifying stage of QSchool come October 16. And with the level of golf he is producing at the moment, he surely has as good a chance as any of progressing.

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