Danie van Tonder has broken free of a quiet spell with an opening round of 67 at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship to share second place early into the tournament.
The 24-year-old roared onto the Sunshine Tour as a rookie in 2012 and took seven top-10s for 20th place on the order of merit. He continued to impress the following season, missing just three cuts in the year and coming second on two occasions.
Those two impressive years were a precursor to the greatness expected from SA’s former number one-ranked amateur, who played superbly through 2014. He led the Sunshine Tour order of merit ahead of the SA Open, which was the final event of the season, but was denied top honours by Thomas Aiken.
Coming second was a tough blow for Van Tonder, who looked out of sorts for his next few events. Despite the setback he finished 23rd in earnings last year, but was well shy of his 2014 heroics.
This season he battled at the co-sanctioned events, but returned to contention with a share of 18th at last week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am.
On Thursday at Eye of Africa he looked to have come full circle from the letdowns of 2014 as he fired an opening 67.