Sunshine Tour

Van Tonder banks R1.2m, shoots up world rankings after SA Open win

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South African golfer Daniel van Tonder (Gallo Images)
South African golfer Daniel van Tonder (Gallo Images)
Carl Fourie/Gallo Images
  • On Sunday, Daniel van Tonder sank a 25-foot birdie putt to win his maiden South African Open Championship at the Gary Player Country Club.
  • Van Tonder sealed his eighth Sunshine Tour Tour title with a one-shot victory over countryman Oliver Bekker.
  • His win saw the South African rocket up the World Golf Rankings to 79th and pocket over R1 million for his efforts.

South African golfer Daniel van Tonder cracked the Top 100 in the world golf rankings after his thrilling win at the South African Open Championship at Sun City on Sunday.

Van Tonder secured his eighth Sunshine Tour title following a one-shot victory at the famed Gary Player Country Club.

The 30-year-old produced a magnificent final round of 65 and sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win on 16-under par, snaring the title from countryman Oliver Bekker by one shot.

"I'm very happy, this year has been long and hard. I've been grafting a lot, I love this place and although it was not co-sanctioned by the European Tour, the tournament still went on and [I'm] happy to win it," Van Tonder told reporters on Sunday.

"I've been behind before and I'm not a bad player, I feel I can catch anyone. The only thing that was going through my mind was making the putt and giving it a chance. If it misses, it's missed. You just need to go for it."

The win was Van Tonder's second title of the year after his European Tour triumph at the Kenya Savannah Classic in Nairobi in March.

He pocketed a cool R1 278 303 for his triumph at Sun City and it also saw him move to fourth on the Sunshine Tour's Order of Merit standings.

In the official world golf rankings, Van Tonder jumped up a whopping 72 places - from 151st to 79th.

Nine-time major champion Gary Player hailed Van Tonder on his "clutch" victory, stating, "I'm thrilled for you".

Meanwhile, Bekker, who led the majority of the tournament, finished second after a closing 66 saw him pocket R887 150 for his efforts.

Bekker also moved up 95 places to sit 164th on the world golf rankings.

Hennie du Plessis finished third on 12-under and earned R598 423, while Dean Burmester finished his year off with a fourth-place finish as he took home R395 992 for his 11-under at Sun City.

SA Open leaderboard prize fund breakdown:

1st - Daniel van Tonder - R1 278 303

2nd - Oliver Bekker - R887 150

3rd - Hennie du Plessis - R598 423

4th - Dean Burmester - R395 992

5th - CJ du Plessis - R333 085

6th - Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Rupert Kaminski, Neil Schietekat, Justin Harding - R224 005

10th - Jacques Blaauw, Hennie O'Kennedy, Bryce Easton, Jovan Rebula - R140 533

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