By Michael Vlismas
Chile’s Matias Calderon won the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School at the Heron Banks Golf and River Estate on Friday to continue his love with South African golf.
Calderon won the 2018 Eye of Africa PGA Championship, making him the first golfer from Chile to win one of South Africa’s oldest and most prestigious titles.
Calderon and England’s Jake Bolton finished the regulation 72 holes tied for the lead on eight-under-par following respective final rounds of 68 and 65. Calderon then won with a par on the first play-off hole.
“First and foremost, I’m just happy to have secured my Sunshine Tour card. That’s the main objective of the week. But coming down the final stretch I wanted to get the best result that I could, and fortunately for me that was a win,” said Calderon.
“I came to South Africa when I just turned professional and I’ve been around for a few years now. There are very good tournaments here on the Sunshine Tour and the people are very friendly. Overall the organisation of tournaments on the Sunshine Tour is great and I really enjoy it here.”
South Africa’s Sean Cronje finished third on seven under par with a closing 70.
The top 25 and ties qualified for the Sunshine Tour next season.