Jaco van Zyl returns to the Turkish Airlines Open with bittersweet memories, having finished second at the tournament last year.
The Olympian was undone by a late flourish from Victor Dubuisson, who edged out the competition with three birdies in the final four holes.
‘It was a good battle, but Victor played really nicely on the back nine and I can’t be too disappointed. I made a five-under-par final round and gave it everything I had, but came up one shot shy,’ he said.
Van Zyl was left to sole second on 21 under par, having shot 61, 69, 70 and 67 at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal.
It was a heartbreaking moment when he settled for second, but the silver lining was a world-ranking climb of over 50 spots, which eventually secured his place at the Rio Olympics.
It also secured a good ranking on the European Tour, which Van Zyl took advantage of with eight top 20s spread across the 2015-16 season.
This week the tournament heads to Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, an untested venue for the European Tour.
Van Zyl won’t be as comfortable on the course, but his good memories from last year will be a huge bonus when teeing up in Turkey.
Fellow Olympian Brandon Stone is also in the field this week, having recently spent time resting at home and competing at the Sunshine Tour’s Sun Sibaya Challenge.
His breakthrough win at the SA Open earlier this year marked the start of what will surely be a prestigious international career for the youngster.
Richard Sterne is hoping to translate his recent good form into a victory, while Thomas Aiken will be looking to put his 2016 PGA Tour experience to good use.
Haydn Porteous, Justin Walters, Darren Fichardt and George Coetzee will all compete in the hopes of making the Dubai Final, which begins in three weeks.