11th July 2019 | Sunshine Tour
Redman: Keep going in talent-filled environment is the goal
We are only midway through the year and in an impressive display of depth and talent, the Sunshine Tour has already crowned four first-time winners with Jake Redman also taking to the winner’s circle for the first time in nearly 10 years as a pro.
His breakthrough win came from the third event of the season, the Lombard Insurance Classic held at Royal Swazi Spa in eSwatini where he shrugged off the challenge mounted by Toto Thimba Jnr and Thriston Lawrence to claim a one-stroke victory.
Before his win, Redman had been flirting with victory for quite a while on both the Sunshine Tour and the Big Easy Tour. His third-place finish in the Vodacom Origins of Golf in Simola in 2013, coupled with his runner-up finishes in the 2014 edition of the Lombard Insurance Classic and the final event of the Vodacom Origins of Golf series in 2015 – among other impressive results – show a man of process and patience.
“My first win did wonders for my confidence,” he said during the KCB Karen Masters in Nairobi. “It gave me the belief that I can go on and finish the job. The key for me now is to keep going and posting good scores and maybe another win is around the corner.”
In a season where it seems that any player on the field can win a tournament, Redman thinks it’s not a one-season thing; instead, it’s an expression of the depth and talent that’s coming through the development processes in place to help golf development in the country and, indeed, the continent.
“There’s been a lot of new faces that’s come on to the Tour, it’s been great to see,” he remarked, “I mean, the competition, the quality and the level of golf that’s being played on the Sunshine Tour is at a high level. The game is growing big-time and looking at the youngsters coming through – and not only on the professional level but also from the amateur ranks – the guys are making big waves internationally.”
Among those new faces is Garrick Higgo, another first-time winner. He claimed the Sun City Challenge in only his fifth start on Tour. Martin Rohwer who won the Investec Royal Swazi Open is another first-time winner this season while Thimba became the first player in the Gary Player Class to win a tournament since that developmental programme was initiated in 2016, when he won the KCB Karen Masters recently.
Redman’s objective for the season, he says, is to try and win another tournament. Failing that, and he will fight for a spot in the top 50 in the Order of Merit to give himself opportunities to get into bigger tournaments, with the Tour Championship among those he’s set his sights on.