Thriston Lawrence made history by becoming the first South African to win the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award, after a sensational debut season on the DP World Tour.
The 25-year-old could not have wished for a better start to the season after winning the Joburg Open, co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour. It was the first event he played in 2022.
The win not only secured his DP World Tour card but also earned him a sport at the 150th Open at St Andrews where he would finish inside the top 50.
He kept up the momentum by claiming his first win in Europe soon afterwards at the Omega European Masters. It was particularly impressive given the rookie had to overcome Matt Wallace in a playoff.
Lawrence finished in the top 10 six more times and breached the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in his career.
“It’s a dream come true,” Lawrence told the DP World Tour website. “If you look at the names on the trophy, it’s incredible. A year ago I didn’t even have a category, so when I started off with a victory, it came to mind straight away to go for this award. To have accomplished it is an incredible feeling – I’m very grateful and honoured.
“It was very special to get the first win at the Joburg Open. This was where my life-changing dream started, and I’m honoured to be defending here this week.
“That win opened up so many doors for me. It gave me a winner’s category, and gave me the chance to play big events like the Rolex Series and my first Major at St Andrews, where golf started.
“Winning twice was incredible, and it’s not where I want to end. It’s a balance between being strict with yourself, sticking to your routine, and having good support behind you. It’s not just me, it’s a whole bigger team. Onwards and upwards from here.”