While Michael Kok may have lost the play-off to Kyle Barker in the IGT Chase to #15 Centurion this week, he’s lifted himself into second spot in the Chase to Sunshine Tour 2020/22 rankings.
With three players getting cards to play on the Sunshine Tour from that list, it’s a good spot to be in, even if there are still 25 tournaments to go in the marathon before the final is played at Centurion on December 13.
While the number of tournaments has plenty to do with the fact that golf – like other sports – has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also the important consideration that players emerging from the regular pressure-cooker of tournament play will be battle-hardened and ready for action on the Sunshine Tour when they hit the fairways on that circuit.
Barker, who won on the first extra hole against Kok after the pair were all locked up on 14-under-par, is already a member of the Sunshine Tour and is not on the IGT’s list which is headed up by South Africa’s top amateur Casey Jarvis who has won three times on the circuit.
Kok slipped into second position above the impressive Vaughn van Deventer who won last September at Reading Golf Club, but he will know that riding the wave of form he is currently displaying will keep him in the upper reaches until the business end of the tour.
Rounding out the top 10 on the list are amateur Ryan van Velzen, professionals Leon Vorster, Kyle McClatchie and Herman Loubser, and amateurs Sam McKenzie, Christiaan Maas and Christiaan Burke. Lurking just outside the top 10 are Franklin Manchest, Ryan Tipping and Jason Froneman.
In the significant stroke average statistics, leading the field amongst players who have played more than 20 rounds on the circuit so far is Jarvis with an average of 68.90. Next best is Van Deventer on 69.82, Therion Nel on 69.83, Kok on 70.30 and McClatchie is on 70.36. The next tournament in the series starts on Monday January 18 at State Mines.