The current year has truly provided the South African golf public with some outstanding performances on the professional golf circuit. Those performances have proven fruitful for 10 of the Republic’s golfers in 2020.
Despite Louis Oosthuizen falling heartbreakingly short at three of the calendar year’s four major championships, there have been some amazing victories to celebrate courtesy of LeeAnn Pace on the Ladies European Tour; Brandon Stone, JC Ritchie and Wilco Nienaber on the European Challenge Tour; Justin Harding, Daniel van Tonder, Garrick Higgo and Dean Burmester on the European Tour; as well as Branden Grace, Garrick Higgo and Erik van Rooyen on the PGA Tour.
All of this success adds up to some extremely lucrative paydays so let’s countdown the top 10 South African money winners for 2021 so far…
No. 10: Justin Harding – R10.6 million
Harding found his way back to the winner’s circle at the Magical Kenya Open earlier this year and had another extremely close call at the recent Cazoo Open hosted by Gareth Bale.
No. 9: Ernie Els – R11.2 million
Based on his own high expectations, it is fair to say that Els has underperformed in certain respects with just four top-10 finishes in 2021 on the Champions Tour.
No. 8: Christiaan Bezuidenhout – R15.3 million
Despite not having missed a single cut, Bezuidenhout will feel his 2021 season has been mediocre in all aspects apart from the healthy addition he has made to his bank balance.
No. 7: Retief Goosen – R17.8 million
A couple of runner-up finishes, including at the U.S Senior Open Championship, have helped The Goose climb the rankings in the Charles Schwab Cup on the Champions Tour.
No. 6: Erik van Rooyen – R22.1 million
A timely return to form last weekend at the Barracuda Championship not only won van Rooyen a whole heap of cash, it also secured his spot in the FedEx Cup Playoffs as well as his PGA Tour Card for the next two seasons.
No. 5: Dylan Frittelli – R22.9 million
For all of the planning and preparation that Frittelli put into his 2021 season, it was fate that led to his best performance on Tour at The Open Championship after only receiving a last-minute call after compatriot Louis de Jager was forced to withdraw due to COVID-19.
No. 4: Branden Grace – R26.9 million
Victory at the Puerto Rico Open and two excellent back-to-back performances at The Memorial and U.S Open in June are the standouts from Grace’s 2021 season.
No. 3: Garrick Higgo – R29.4 million
Without doubt the breakout star of 2021 in South African golf, Garrick Higgo followed up his maiden European Tour victory in 2020 with two more in the space of three weeks during the Canary Islands swing. Higgo’s biggest win to date soon followed at the Palmetto Championship on the PGA Tour, the biggest stage of them all.
No. 2: Charl Schwartzel – R31.7 million
After battling a debilitating wrist injury, Schwartzel has used the past couple of seasons to fight his way back to the top echelons of the sport. Based on what Charl has achieved so far in 2021, it is fair to say the 2011 Masters champion is due another victory on Tour.
No. 1: Louis Oosthuizen – R93.2 million
There is not much more to be said about South Africa’s premier golfer after the heartache he has undoubtedly endured after three near-misses at all of the PGA Championship, U.S Open and The Open Championship. Don’t forget King Louis also suffered defeat in a playoff at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and had to settle for 2nd at the 3M Open. If there is any light at the end of the tunnel, Louis has nearly R100 million in annual on-course earnings with the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the business end of the Race to Dubai still to cash in on.
*As at 12 August 2021
– Andrew Parker