The agony of pre-qual­i­fy­ing

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Sunshine Tour -

For non-ex­empt play­ers it’s tough hav­ing to pre-qual­ify for big tour­na­ments, be­cause with so few spots avail­able you need spe­cial low rounds just to get into these events. Spare a thought for Ja­son Frone­man, who had 64 at Benoni CC to qual­ify for the SA Open, only to miss the cut with 74-78, and then 65 at Hud­dle Park to qual­ify for the Joburg Open, only to again miss the cut with 68-74.

Best qual­i­fy­ing round of the year was a 10-un­der 62 at Wood­hill by Zim­bab­wean Scott Vincent which got him into the Mau­ri­tius Open. Vincent did him­self proud at Anahita by fin­ish­ing T-18 and earn­ing R200 000. Best round of the year Ockie Stry­dom had five top-3 fin­ishes in 2016, but the high­light of the 32-yearold’s year was a re­mark­able 11-un­der-par 61 in the fi­nal round of the Vo­da­com Ori­gins event at Si­mola in Knysna. Hav­ing opened the tour­na­ment 74-68, he started the fi­nal round 10 shots be­hind leader Justin Hard­ing. He birdied the last four holes to make it 11 birdies for the round, and got to within a shot of Hard­ing to fin­ish sec­ond on his own. Big­gest come­back to win Swede Christofer Blom­strand, a 25-year-old rookie on tour who got in through the Q School, was eight shots be­hind 54-hole leader James Kamte go­ing into the fi­nal round of the Zam­bia Sugar Open at Lusaka Golf Club. He had nine birdies and an ea­gle in a clos­ing 10un­der 63 to over­take 16 play­ers and win by three shots. Other play­ers who shot 63 to win in the fi­nal round were Charl Schwartzel at the Tsh­wane Open, and Mer­rick Brem­ner at the Lombard In­sur­ance Clas­sic. Brem­ner was six shots back after 36 holes, and won in a play­off. Tough­est course on tour in 2016? Anahita at the Mau­ri­tius Open, where the av­er­age score over 72 holes with a Euro­pean Tour qual­ity field was 74.92, two shots more dif­fi­cult than Glen­dower for the SA Open at 72.97. The cut was made on +6. Break­ing 70 was a mas­sive achieve­ment, with only 12 scores in the 60s in windy con­di­tions on the Ernie Els de­sign. Only the first two fin­ish­ers were un­der par for 72 holes. Eas­i­est on tour? No con­test. The Royal Swazi Spa at the Lombard In­sur­ance Clas­sic, av­er­ag­ing 70.33.

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