Daniel van Tonder’s win in the South African Open Championship at the weekend saw him jump 72 places on the latest Official World Golf Ranking to bring the number of South Africans in the top 100 to eight.
Van Tonder, who reached a career-high of 72nd on the list after his share of second place in the Limpopo Championship in April, had slipped to 151st in the rankings, which was just one above the position in which he started the year.
His dramatic one-stroke victory over Oliver Bekker changed his trend upwards again, and also secures his entry into the Open Championship at St Andrews next July. Bekker, for his efforts, also had a huge 95-position jump on the list, from 259th to 164th. That makes him the 13th-best South African according to the rankings.
A strong finish at the SA Open from Dean Burmester, who finished fourth, saw him climb 10 places to 66th. That’s his career-high position, having regained a place in the world’s top 100 after the Dunhill Links Championship in September.
South Africa’s leading golfer remains Louis Oosthuizen, who stayed in the top-10 ranked players in the world at 10th. Last year’s SA Open champion Christiaan Bezuidenhout is the only other South African inside the top 50. He was unchanged at 48th after he finished in a share of sixth at Gary Player Country Club over the weekend.
Charl Schwartzel in 106th, a drop of three places, and Dylan Frittelli who was up three in 108th, are the players closest to breaking back into the world’s top 100.
Lower down on the list, Hennie du Plessis’ third-place finish in the SA Open saw him jump 101 places on the list to 213th, Neil Schietekat improved 37 places to 221st, and the Joburg Open winner Thriston Lawrence ended the week in 234th, up nine places.
South Africa’s top 10
- Louis Oosthuizen 10 (unchanged)
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout 48 (unchanged)
- Garrick Higgo 58 (down 1)
- Erik van Rooyen 63 (down 1)
- Branden Grace 65 (unchanged)
- Dean Burmester 66 (up 10)
- Shaun Norris 77 (unchanged)
- Daniel van Tonder 79 (up 72)
- Charl Schwartzel 106 (down 3)
- Dylan Frittelli 108 (up 3)