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4th February 2019 | Sunshine Tour

RAM Cape Town Open: What’s what

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The RAM Cape Town Open returns to Royal Cape Golf Club from the 7-10 February. This comes after the seven-year-old event was forced to move to King David Mowbray Golf Club due to the drought which affected the city last year. From 2012 to 2016 it was played annually in November, but it was changed to be staged in February since last year. It boasts a prize fund of R2-million.

Four of the six previous winners, Rhys Enoch who is defending, Jacques Kruyswijk who won it a year before Enoch did, Jaco Ahlers who won in 2014 and Jake Roos who won the first event in 2012, are in the field this week.

The title is yet to be successfully defended since its inception in 2012.

The format:

The competition will be decided over 72 holes of stroke-play. After 36 holes there will be a cut to the leading 60 professionals and those who tie on the score.

The field:

156 professionals.

Defending champion:

Rhys Enoch of Wales won his first event on the Sunshine Tour by one stroke on 19-under-par 269 last year. He also holds the lowest winning score for the event. Enoch is the first non-South African to win the tournament.

The course:

The Royal Cape Golf CLub was established in 1885 which makes it the South Africa’s oldest golf club. It is in the shadow of Table Mountain and is subject to three of nature’s beguiling offerings: a near constant wind to challenge, sweeping mountain views to charm and water features to ensnare.  The par-72 course which is 6,121 metres in length was designed by Charles Murray and its fairway grass is Kikuyu, while the greens are made of Bent grass. There are plenty of challenging bunkers.

It is a course has hosted the SA Open 10 times, as well as many other professional and top amateur events. Winners at Royal Cape include Gary Player, Ernie Els, Mark McNulty and Trevor Immelman.

Tree-lined with narrow fairways and subtle greens, Royal presents a traditional test of golf, although the numerous ponds and lakes teeming with bird life provide beauty and distraction along the way.

Form player:

Daniel Greene will want to make good on his mistakes while letting his would-be maiden win on Tour slip from his grasp in the closing stretch at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship last week. He showed real hunger for the win as he finished one shot off winner Louis de Jager, who won it in a play-off against Trevor Fisher Jr, and with that spirit and confidence, he is poised to be a danger at this week’s RAM Cape Town Open. Greene has two other top-10 finishes already this season at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Selborne where he finished seventh and Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at St Francis Links where he finished fourth. The last two events of last year were also not bad either as he finished 37th at the South African Open and also made some money at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, finishing 61st.

Sentimental pick:

Peter Karmis probably comes to this week’s edition of the event irritated by the fact that he lost it by just a single shot to Rhys Enoch last year. Karmis who won Vodacom Origins of Golf Selborne last year would like to add his name to the list of double winners this season after Justin Harding, Neil Schietekat and Louis de Jager. He has shown good form this season on Tour with just a single missed cut out of 12 starts. With three other top-10 finishes, he is surely one of the players to look out for.

The bolter:

Derick Petersen might have missed 10 cuts out of 14 starts, excluding the Alfred Dunhill Championship in which he was disqualified, this season, but the 31-year-old player has proven that he is capable of registering a first Sunshine Tour win any time in a good week. The member of the Gary Player Class put up a good showing at the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at Pinnacle Point in November where he finished second and four shots behind the winner Steve Surry.  That was the second time the Modderfontein Golf Club player has come close to winning as he was runner-up at the Vodacom Origins of Golf San Lameer in 2015. Clearly, Petersen is in a position to lift a trophy some time soon.

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