Thriston Lawrence has moved to the top of a Sunshine Tour Order of Merit that is now being dominated by the youngsters of South African golf, with only one golfer in the current top six on the money list over the age of 30.
Such is the influx of young talent on the local Tour that four of the top-six golfers in the Order of Merit are 25 years old and younger. And every single one of them has won a tournament this year.
It’s a trend that looks set to continue when the Vodacom Origins of Golf series travels to KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast and the Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa this week for the penultimate tournament in this popular series.
The 22-year-old Lawrence’s victory in the Stellenbosch tournament in the Vodacom Origins of Golf series is what took him into the top position on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit. JC Ritchie (25) is his nearest challenger on the money list in second place. He is followed by Daniel van Tonder (28) in third, Toto Thimba (33) in fourth, Ruan Conradie (24) in fifth and Garrick Higgo (20) in sixth place.
Conradie claimed his maiden Sunshine Tour title in the Royal Swazi Spa Challenge this year, and he’ll back himself for a second title at Selborne where he finished tied fifth in last year’s Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament. He already has a second-place finish in the Humewood tournament on the Vodacom Origins series this year.
Further down the Order of Merit in 33rd position, the 28-year-old Riekus Nortje will also be looking to turn his good form into a win in the Vodacom Origins of Golf series. Nortje finished third in the Sishen tournament in the series and then second in Stellenbosch.
And with only three tournaments on the schedule – this week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf at Selborne, the Sibaya Challenge and then the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final – left to play before the major summer events on the Sunshine Tour tee off, the youngsters are more determined than ever to make their mark.
The Vodacom Origins of Golf at Selborne begins with a 36-hole pro-am on Tuesday and Wednesday followed by the main 54-hole professional tournament that tees off on the Thursday.