SA golfer continues fine form

2011-08-01 09:10

Jaco van Zyl built on his recent consistent form as the top placed South African golfer in the Irish Open at Killarney Golf Club yesterday.

His total of 276 – following rounds of 70, 70, 67 and 69 – was good enough for a tie of 11th behind English winner Simon Dyson.

Van Zyl just missed out on his third top-10 finish of the season on the European Tour.

The nine-time winner on the Sunshine Tour went out in the final round in one over par on the first nine but rallied with three birdies on the back nine to vault himself up the leaderboard.

Fellow South African Keith Horne ended in a share of 34th on three under par for the tournament.

Van Zyl (32) who enjoys flying and is aiming to get his pilot’s licence, has led a steady path to success.

He won the SA amateur title in 2000 before turning pro in 2001, and he finished 18th on the Sunshine Tour’s money list in his rookie season.

Since then he has picked up multiple victories on the local tour, earning in excess of R5 million, which enabled him to first play on the USPGA tour in 2007.

He returned to South Africa in 2008 for the birth of his first child and continued to pick up victories on the local tour.

Van Zyl, who earned his European Tour card through last season’s qualifying school, is 69th in the Race to Dubai – the season-long money list.

Former Masters champion Trevor Immelman led the South African contingent at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia, finishing tied for 14th as he continued his resurgence on the PGA Tour.

Immelman’s four-round total 274 included a final round 67, moving him up 14 places in the fourth round.

His score of six under par for the event was four shots behind eventual winner Scott Stallings of the US.

Immelman has battled injury since his Major victory in 2008 and has not won anywhere since.

He has been plagued by wrist and elbow problems, playing just 13 events in 2009 when he dropped from the top 20 in the world rankings to 136th.

Last year, he fell even further to a lowly 270th, but this year has seen him returning to the course healthy and climbing up to 164th in the world.

Immelman also enjoys a current FedExCup ranking – the season-long USPGA Tour money list – of 99.

Two time US Open champion Retief Goosen and Garth Mulroy of Umkomaas Golf Club both missed the cut at the Greenbrier tournament.

Goosen, who had just four birdies in his two rounds, came back in 40 in his second round to sign for a 77 and missed the cut by six.

No South Africans were able to make the weekend in the women’s British Open at the Carnoustie Links in Scotland as Yani Tseng of Tapei claimed a four shot victory on 16 under par.

Ashleigh Simon was closest to making the cut with rounds of 74 and 73 for three over par as she missed the weekend by two shots.

Last season’s Order of Merit winner, Lee-Anne Pace, was a further shot behind on four over for the the first two rounds.

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