Sunshine Tour

Divan wins Order of Merit

Divan Gerber (Gall Images)
Divan Gerber (Gall Images)
Benoni – For three years the Sunshine Big Easy Tour presented by Stonehage has opened doors for up-and-coming players from Southern Africa. On Friday Divan Gerber became the next youngster to watch after he won the Tour Championship and the Order of Merit.

“This is a learning curve and these are the steps you need to follow to get up to the top. I’m overwhelmed right now, but this is great,” he said.

The 25-year-old began touring in 2011, a year in which he won Big Easy Maccauvlei. Over the next three years he picked up a further 13 top-15 results on the development tour.

Those experiences prepared him for the final round at Ebotse Golf Estate on Friday, where he shot a final-round 70 for a two shot victory over Attie Schwartzel, Francois Coetzee and Pieter Moolman.

“This is a learning curve,” said Gerber. “That’s what’s nice about this tour, it gives you that opportunity to learn here and then go to the main tour and take that into the main tour to go and make a living.”

He’s also learnt plenty about the grind as a professional golfer.

“I made a nine at Big Easy Benoni last year that lost me the tournament and then this year I lost in a playoff hole at Kempton Park after I hit my ball out of bounds. It’s not nice to have those memories in your way, but that’s where you learn,” he said.

The Bethlehem local carded a Wednesday 67 to lead the first round at Tour Champs and never looked back. He wrapped up a wire to wire victory and secured the Order of Merit, thereby earning the first of five 2014 Sunshine Tour cards that were on offer.

“I didn’t know I had won the order of merit,” said Gerber. “We’ve got this win in the bag and that’s the cherry on top. I just wanted to make sure that I came in the top five and kept my sunshine tour card for next year.”

The new champion was amazed by the opportunities that lay before him.

“This is a big Christmas present for me. I can relax in December and have a vacation for two weeks, which is good. This is my second win on this tour, and I would like to take this to the main tour and play there where the big boys play and maybe go further, maybe Asia, you never know,” he said.

SCORES (RSA unless otherwise specified):

209 - Divan Gerber 67 72 70
211 - Francois Coetzee 70 73 68, Pieter Moolman 69 72 70, Attie Schwartzel 70 70 71
212 - Dean O'Riley 74 73 65, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 70 70 72
215 - Morne Buys 74 70 71, Jacques Kruyswijk 72 71 72
216 - Steven Ferreira 69 72 75
217 - CJ du Plessis 77 72 68, Henk Alberts 70 78 69, Brett Liddle 73 73 71, Kevin Stone 76 69 72, Stefan Engell Andersen (KEN) 69 75 73
218 - Anton Haig 70 80 68, Toto Thimba (Jnr) 76 72 70, Derik Ferreira 68 78 72, Otto van Greunen 71 75 72, Mark Fensham 73 73 72, Lindani Ndwandwe 73 73 72
219 - Callie Swart 76 75 68, Jaco Prinsloo 78 73 68
222 - Beyers Smith 75 76 71, Desne van den Bergh 78 70 74
223 - Stuart Smith (BOT) 70 79 74
224 - Tsietsi Mofokeng (LES) 74 77 73
226 - Ruan Huysamen (NAM) 77 77 72
228 - Ryan Thompson 77 76 75
229 - Micky Hough (ZIM) 75 79 75
 
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England 35/1 (17.4 ov)
West Indies 0
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