12th September 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Vodacom Origins of Golf Arabella: What’s what
The Vodacom Origins of Golf goes back to Arabella Country Club this week for the third event in the six-tournament series. The tournament tees off from Friday, September 14th to Sunday, September 16th and boasts a prize fund of R800 000.
There are four former winners of this title in the field in Vaughn Groenewald – recent winner at Sun Wild Coast Sun Challenge – who won the title in 2016 and 11-time Origins of Golf winner, Jean Hugo who won in 2014, Chris Swanepoel who won here in 2011 and last season’s winner, Keith Horne.
The series is in its 15th season and has produced over 50 different champions along the way.
The tournament is 54 holes of Stroke Play. After 36 holes there will be a cut to the leading 40 professionals and ties.
Keith Horne is the defending champion. He won last season’s tournament by three strokes on a total of six-under-par 210.
The Arabella Estate is home to one of the top-ranked golf courses in South Africa, with pristine grass, tricky sand traps and challenging water hazards. Designed by Peter Matkovich, the golf course has been enjoyed by celebrities such as Samuel L. Jackson and professional golfers like Ernie Els and Gary Player.
The 18-hole, Par 72 Championship course has consistently been ranked in the top 10 courses in South Africa. The 8th hole has been described as one of the most beautiful par 5′s in South Africa and the 18th hole was rated one of the finest finishing holes in the country.
The course, which is located about one hour away from Cape Town, near the coastal town of Hermanus, also offers a fully stocked pro shop, warm-up range, putting and chipping green, halfway house and golf club bar, as well as secure lockers rooms and showers, golf carts and golfing clinics and coaching by the club professional.
Jacques Blaauw said he was back on the Sunshine Tour for the remainder of the season for one reason, and that is to improve his Order of Merit standing so he can keep his card for next season. His results so far – a share of 10th at the Wild Coast Sun Challenge and a runner-up finish at Vodacom Origins of Golf at Selborne Park – have been indicative of a man on a mission. In the combined six rounds of golf that he has played so far, Blaauw has only shot one round in the 70s when he signed for a 73 in round two of that Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Selborne where he, Garth Mulroy and Neil Schietekat came second to Peter Karmis.
Lying 56th on the Order of Merit after only two starts, Blaauw knows that a few solid finishes in the coming events will see him well inside the top 50, but he must first produce the goods at Arabella this week. Having gotten back-to-back solid results in coastal layouts should be motivational going to the windy Kleinmond but a seasoned professional and an experienced traveller, Blaauw should be able to do well this week.
After failing to qualify at the Investec Royal Swazi Open which was followed by a string of four missed cuts, Wynand Dingle managed to pick up the pieces and has since been solid. His last three starts on coastal events have been something to marvel at. Last season here, Dingle flirted with victory, only to finish 6th at the end of it all. While he has not won on the main Tour since claiming the Big Easy Tour Houghton event last season, Dingle has proven he can play on coastal and his share of 15th at Wild Coast three weeks ago and the ninth he got at in Selborne two weeks ago stand as testimony. With such performances, it will not be a surprise to see Dingle claiming his maiden Sunshine Tour win.
Having come through qualifying school where he came 19th, Victor Lange has gone on unnoticed, except when he shoots scores of 66 and 68 to throw himself in the mix like he did at Wild Coast over three weeks ago.
He went on to finish 47th after a final 73. At Zebula, too, he shot a final-round 73 which was preceded by first and second rounds of 70 and 69 to finish 13th. In the two events at which he missed the cut, Roya Swazi Spa Challenge and Sun Carnival City Challenge, he failed to sign for a score below 70. In the other four events – where he has made the cut– Lange has shot 69 at least once in each of those tournaments, with his lowest round so far being the first-round 66 at Wild Coast.
He has proven he can shoot low scores when the game allows for it and with a little bit of consistency on his part, Lange certainly does have the ability to surprise a few.