Vaughn Groenewald is one of only three players who have won twice on the Sunshine Tour this year, and he will be looking to go one better than George Coetzee and Dean Burmester in Thursday’s Vodacom Origins of Golf event presented by Samsung at Vaal de Grace.
Groenewald broke an eight-and-a-half year victory drought in April when he took the Zambia Sugar Open in Lusaka, and he followed that with a win in last month’s Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge for his fourth Sunshine Tour title.
And while the other men who have won two titles – Coetzee took the Tshwane Open and the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, and Burmester the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open and the Lombard Insurance Classic – are riding high atop or inside the top five of the Order of Merit, Groenewald is in 25th spot with nearly R555,000, the second-highest winnings haul of his career which now spans 21 years.
Defending champion PH McIntyre is in Kazakhstan this week, playing on the Challenge Tour rather than on his home course, and that opens the door for some form players to make a dash at the crown and the winner’s share of the R650,000.
Besides Groenewald, some of those players are the likes of Jean Hugo, who won on August 22 in the San Lameer leg of the series, and Justin Harding, who took the season-opener at Langebaan on June 6.
Also in the field is the Sunshine Tour’s newest champion, Michael Hollick, who took last week’s Sun Sibaya Challenge at his home course of Mount Edgecombe in KwaZulu-Natal. The other player in the field who has won in 2015 is Jaco Ahlers, who triumphed in the Investec Cup in March.
And with Chase to Investec Cup 2016 points up for grabs, Groenewald will be looking to close the gap between his current third spot and the 226-point lead help by Burmester at the top of the table.