The Sunshine Tour’s 2022-23 season tees off in the Western Cape this week with the Lombard Insurance Classic at Arabella Country Estate.
Tristen Strydom will hope to continue where he left off last season, having claimed his breakthrough victory on the Sunshine Tour in the previous season-ending Tour Championship at the beginning of this month. It capped his most successful season as a professional as he finished ninth on the final Luno Order of Merit.
After a brief break, he’s back in action this week at an Arabella golf course that holds fond memories for him.
“I love Arabella. It’s one of most scenic golf courses in the country,” he said. “When I was younger and playing a lot of amateur GolfRSA tournaments we travelled a lot around the country. Most of the GolfRSA Boland tournaments were played in Hermanus and also at Arabella. I love that whole area and it has some special memories for me.”
Strydom enjoyed a lot of amateur success in this part of the world and will definitely draw on all of these memories as he looks to build towards what could be his most significant season to date.
“Winning the Tour Championship has given me massive opportunities and one of those is that I’ll be leaving at the end of this month to compete on the Challenge Tour, starting with my first tournament in the Czech Republic. The ultimate aim is to qualify for my DP World Tour card this year.”
Another golfer who’ll enjoy being in more familiar surroundings is Luca Filippi, who also played plenty of amateur golf in this region and narrowly lost out on the Rookie of the Year title to Jayden Schaper last season.
The Lombard Insurance Classic will also mark a new start for Yubin Jung, the winner of the recent Altron Vusi Ngubeni Tournament, which is the Sunshine Tour’s qualifying school for historically disadvantaged golfers.
Several of the golfers who successfully qualified for the Sunshine Tour through this tournament will be in the field this week as they also form part of the Tour’s new Transformation Class supported by Investec, Betway, VAT It and Credit Guarantee.