George Coetzee’s dogged performance in last week’s Saudi International on the European Tour saw him climb closer to the world’s top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
His share of 10th place behind world number one Dustin Johnson saw him move from 90th to 79th on the list, as a good start to his year moves him ever closer to the kind of level which will see him get into major championships and World Golf Championship events on a more regular basis.
He’s been there before, finishing 2012 in 49th place. Now, however, he’s won eight times since then, and there seems to be an inevitability about his rise in the rankings. He started the year in 92nd, and, while he remains South Africa’s fifth-best player according to the rankings, his was by far the biggest climb amongst players from this country.
Next best was Wilco Nienaber, who has fallen outside the top 10 in South Africa, but his solid share of 33rd in Saudi Arabia lifted him to 161st in 11th spot and in hot pursuit of 10th-placed Daniel van Tonder, who is awaiting the resumption of action on the Sunshine Tour next month to work on improving his position.
Louis Oosthuizen remains South African’s leading player on the world rankings, and he climbed two places to number 24 on the list after a good week in the United States where he finished in a share of 11th in the Waste Management Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour.
There were small movements in each direction from the other players in the top 10 for South Africa, with Shaun Norris experiencing a big upward move from 119 to 115, despite not playing, and Branden Grace slipping six places to 146th during a period of inactivity brought on by the COVID-19 related death of his father.
The South African top 10 is:
- Louis Oosthuizen 24 (up 2)
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout 36 (down 3)
- Erik van Rooyen 60 (unchanged)
- Dylan Frittelli 65 (up 1)
- George Coetzee 79 (up 11)
- Garrick Higgo 102 (down 4)
- Brandon Stone 110 (unchanged)
- Shaun Norris 115 (up 4)
- Branden Grace 146 (down 6)
- Daniel van Tonder 153 (down 5)