The final week of the season opening South African Swing has arrived in the form of the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt Golf Estate. With a spot in the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational on offer for the winner, we have picked out three men to watch this week.
The World Number 60 is the highest ranked player in the field and will tee it up in his home country following a strong start to the year on the European Tour. After securing his first European Tour win at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation last year, Bezuidenhout finished a career-best 18th in the Race to Dubai Rankings Presented by Rolex following five top tens which included his best Rolex Series finish – third place at the BMW PGA Championship.
The 25-year-old started 2020 with a missed cut at the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg but travelled to the Middle East and experienced an upturn in form. A tie for 59th place at the Abu Dhabi HSBS Championship presented by EGA and a tied 21st place at the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers sandwiched a runner-up spot at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, where he lost in a play-off to Australia’s Lucas Herbert. Bezuidenhout is a man who knows how to win, so do not be surprised if he is in the mix come Sunday.
It was a case of fine margins for Sweden’s Karlsson during his last campaign on the European Challenge Tour in 2018 when he finished 31st on the Rankings, but it could have been more. The 26-year-old secured a second and third place, as well as two more top tens before going to Qualifying School and earning his European Tour card. He again showed his ability on the top tier last year with a runner-up finish at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and a tie for ninth place in his next start at the Magical Kenya Open presented by Absa, but was unable to kick on after that and eventually finished 136th in the Race to Dubai.
He returned to Challenge Tour action at the Limpopo Championship a fortnight ago and finished in a tie for 20th place after a two over par weekend, however he kicked on from that season-opener to secure his maiden Challenge Tour title at the RAM Cape Town Open last week. Could he do it again?
Englishman Clements burst onto the Challenge Tour scene last year and wasted no time in showing what he was capable of. Clements finished 50th on the Road to Mallorca Rankings after only 12 starts, largely thanks to third place finishes at both the innovative ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women, Presented by Modest! Golf Management and the Stone Irish Challenge. The 23-year-old ended his season with a tie for 47th place at the Foshan Open and narrowly missed out on a spot in the Challenge Tour Grand Final, however big things are expected of Clements with a full Challenge Tour season ahead of him in 2020.
He won the Silver Medal for low-amateur at the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic and began his 2020 campaign with a tie for 20th place at the Limpopo Championship and a tie for 19th place at the RAM Cape Town Open.