Four maiden winners on Sunshine Tour this season

17th January 2019 | Sunshine Tour

Four maiden winners on Sunshine Tour this season

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Four maiden winners on Sunshine Tour this season 

The Sunshine Tour 2018-19 season has so far seen the introduction of four new players to the winner’s circle in the form of Michael Palmer, Andre De Decker, Zander Lombard, and Steve Surry, and with six more events to go the number could still change.

It all started when Palmer opened the gates with the two-shot win on 18-under-par in the KCB Karen Masters in July. His form after the win saw him almost claiming another victory at the Royal Swazi Spa Challenge a month later. Palmer’s win came three years after he turned professional.

It took De Decker a trip to eSwatini to get his first win at the Royal Swazi Spa Challenge in August. The 28-year-old defeated Palmer on the fifth play-off hole after they both finished on 16-under-par 200 after 54 holes of regulation play. De Decker’s win came three years after he turned professional.

Lombard who, along with Louis de Jager, earned his European Tour card for the new season in November, registered his first win after defeating Jake Roos on the first play-off hole of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Zebula in August. Both players had finished on 10-under-par 206 for the tournament. It took the 23-year-old four years to win after he turned professional. He was a runner-up at the Joburg Open in 2016.

Surry of England claimed his first title at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at Pinnacle Point where he finished four shots clear on six-under-par 210 in November. The 36-year-old’s victory came six years after he started coming to South Africa. He came very close to winning three times before as he was a runner-up at the Nedbank Affinity Cup in 2013, the Sun Boardwalk Golf Challenge in 2014 and the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open in 2015.

Other first-time winners on the Sunshine Tour this season, who have no playing cards on the tour, include Americans Kurt Kitayama and David Lipksy who won the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship respectively.

The list of Sunshine Tour players who came close to getting their first wins this season includes Toto Thimba who finished second at the Sun Carnival City Challenge in August. Fredrik From of Sweden and Chris Cannon of England were neck-and-neck as they attempted to register their first wins at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Parys where they shared second spot in October.

CJ du Plessis and Breyten Meyer were tied second at Sibaya Challenge in their search of first wins. That was Du Plessis’ fourth narrow miss of winning since 2016. Member of the Gary Player Class, Derick Petersen also showed that he has got all it takes to win when he finished second at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final in November and that was the second time he came that close to winning since 2015.

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