South Africa: Van Tonder, Thimba Eye No 1 Order of Merit Spot At Humewood

23 September 2019

Port Elizabeth — In the same week that the European Tour will feature its festival of links golf, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in St Andrews, the Sunshine Tour travels to the classic links of Humewood for a Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament that could spark a few big changes on the local Order of Merit.

With current Sunshine Tour Order of Merit leader JC Ritchie playing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, the door is open for second-placed Daniel van Tonder and third-placed Toto Thimba to challenge for that No 1 spot on the money list.

Van Tonder is just over R30 000 behind Ritchie, while Thimba Jnr. is roughly R43 000 behind the Order of Merit leader.

Both would be looking for finishes inside the Top 10 to challenge Ritchie's No 1 position, while a top-five finish for either could see them overtake Ritchie at the top of the Order of Merit.

This week's tournament at Humewood is the second on the popular Origins of Golf series and begins with a 36-hole pro-am on Tuesday and Wednesday before the main 54-hole tournament tees off on Thursday.

It marks the start of a lucrative stretch of the remaining four Origins of Golf tournaments as R5 million in total prize money is on the line between now and the end of October.

Lyle Rowe, Luke Jerling and Titch Moore are among the local favourites, and as the Sunshine Tour professionals with an intimate knowledge of the Humewood links, which has hosted the South African Open five times and the last of which was in 2006 when Ernie Els won the title.

Tyrone Ryan was the last winner of a Sunshine Tour event played at Humewood Golf Club in 2017 when he won the Sun Boardwalk Challenge here. And in 2016, Ruan de Smidt was also a winner at Humewood in the same tournament, with Daniel van Tonder finishing third that year.

Source: Sport24

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