Sunshine Tour

SA golfers lose the world ranking swing

SA's top golfer Louis Oosthuizen. (Supplied)
SA's top golfer Louis Oosthuizen. (Supplied)

Johannesburg - Do South Africa’s top golfers give a convincing impression about their showing on the local courses?

If their current rankings are anything to go by, the answer is a big no as the official world golf listing paints a gloomy picture about their standings.

Louis Oosthuizen is the number one golfer in the country, but his name appears 22nd on the global placings.

The 2010 British Open winner’s best rating was fourth in 2014 after moving up from the sixth position. He has now slid down embarrassingly in the world positioning.

The second best local golfer is Branden Grace, whose name appears 30th on the globe. His highest position internationally was 10th.

Third-placed on the Sunshine Tour is Charl Schwartzel, who is 32nd outside his country. His highest position on the globe was fourth.

Promising player Dylan Frittelli is positioned fourth in South Africa, but is ranked 54th on the big stage.

The placing of South African golfers worldwide, compared to their standings in their home country, continues to prove that they are not world beaters as they struggle to assert themselves on the big stage.

Take erstwhile world number one Ernie Els’ current situation. His name is shamefully slotted at 584th. Until 2013, he held the record of 788 weeks ranked within the top 10.

The ranking is embarrassing for a man who previously won four majors – the US Open in 1994 and 1997, and the British Open in 2002 and 2012.

Retief Goosen was among the top 10 best golfers for more than 250 weeks between 2001 and 2007, but now the two-time US Open victor (2001 and 2007) is languishing at number 388.

The sad state of rankings shows that, although local golfers are admirably positioned at home, they are still a bunch of amateurs internationally.

What they need to do is up the ante by winning consistently on the European, US PGA and Asian tours.

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