Schaper looking for maiden Sunshine Tour win at Dainfern

Mar 10, 2021 | Featured, Sunshine Tour

Jayden Schaper has six top-10 finishes to his credit on the Sunshine Tour, and he will be looking to go one better than his best finish of a share of second when he tees off on Thursday in the Players Championship hosted at Dainfern Golf Estate.

Although he has his eyes firmly set on a couple of weeks on the European Tour when that circuit rolls into Kenya for two tournaments starting next week, he is keenly aware that winning on the Sunshine Tour will solidify his reputation as one of the names to watch in South African golf in the future.

“I’m using the tournament this week, and last week’s event as a warm-up before I fly out to Kenya on Sunday,” said Schaper, “but of course, any time you play in a tournament, you play to win. And winning at home is very important to me.”

His best finish on the Sunshine Tour is the share of second he achieved in last November’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek behind Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

He also finished in a share of second in last week’s Kit Kat Group Pro-Am which got the Sunshine Tour’s 2021 schedule underway. “I played well last week,” said Schaper, “but I just couldn’t get the putter to co-operate.

“It’s going a lot better this week, and I find the greens at Dainfern a little less grainy. So I’m hopeful that I can put together four good putting rounds to go with the rest of my game which feels as if it’s in a good place.”

He hasn’t played Dainfern much recently, but he remembers it from the odd school tournament there. “I like it here,” he said. “The course seems to suit my eye, and getting it off the tee is very important. There are places where you can cut a few corners and get close to the green to give yourself a lot of birdie opportunities.

“I’ve been rolling the putts well in practice and in the pro-am, so I’m confident that I should do well this week,” he added.

While some of the players who provided such a stern test in last weeks tournament have jetted off to play the Qatar Masters on the European Tour – Dean Burmester, Wilco Nienaber, Shaun Norris and Hennie du Plessis are some of them – there will still be plenty of players to keep Schaper’s hands full at Dainfern.

Chief amongst those will be Jake Redman and Luke Brown, who both came close to winning last week but were pipped by Welshman Rhys Enoch. Redman battled his driver down the home stretch as he tried to win his second Sunshine Tour title, while Brown appeared to buckle under the pressure of the final round as he chased his maiden win.

Those kinds of slip-ups are not likely to happen two weeks in a row, and Schaper will have to be at his best if he is to pull off a victory.

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