Strydom breaks records on his way to Tour Championship win

Tristen Strydom (Photo by Carl Fourie / Sunshine Tour / Gallo Images)

Tristen Strydom (Photo by Carl Fourie / Sunshine Tour / Gallo Images)

Tristen Strydom made his professional breakthrough on the Sunshine Tour when he won the season-ending Tour Championship in record style at Serengeti Estates on Sunday.

Strydom built on his two-stroke lead overnight and closed with a 66 to win by six shots, which is the biggest margin of victory in the history of the Tour Championship.

Strydom also claimed the record for the lowest winning total in the history of the Tour Championship on 21-under-par 267, surpassing the previous record of 19-under-par 269 by Garrick Higgo in 2020.

And he is also the first player in Sunshine Tour history to win the Tour’s Qualifying School and the Tour Championship. Strydom won the Qualifying School in 2020.

“I can’t describe how it feels. It’s been hard for me and I’ve worked extremely hard to get where I am today. I’m blessed with a lot of good people around me. It makes it so special to get that first victory for everybody who believes in me, ”said Strydom

Pieter Moolman took second place on 15 under par with a final round of 70, while George Coetzee finished third on 11 under with a closing 70.

Strydom was never under pressure on the final day as he made four birdies on the front nine – three of them in succession – to continue moving away from the field. He stumbled with a bogey on 10 but corrected this with another birdie on the 11th. When he added a birdie on the 14th the title was beyond doubt, and his final birdie di lui on the 18th confirmed it.

“I came out with an attacking mindset. I didn’t want to give anybody a chance. I had a good gameplan and I felt really comfortable with the golf course. I’ve had so many second-place finishes and it does get to you after a while. Buy my caddy just kept telling me to stay patient and it will happen at the right place and right time. And it’s great to have finally done it, ”said Strydom.

The win is a groundbreaking one for a player who was one of South Africa’s top amateurs and who then took some time to adjust to the professional ranks. The victory earns Strydom a one-year exemption on the Sunshine Tour.

The Tour Championship wrapped up the Sunshine Tour 2021/22 season. Shaun Norris claimed the top spot on the final Order of Merit thanks largely to his victory of him in the DP World Tour co-sanctioned Steyn City Championship. That earns Norris exemptions into the US Open and Open Championship this year as well as the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. Dean Burmester finished second on the Order of Merit and Thriston Lawrence ended the season in third place.

Jayden Schaper’s finish of fourth in the Tour Championship secured him the Rookie of the Year award.

Scores:

267 – Tristen Strydom 69 64 68 66

273 – Pieter Moolman 66 68 69 70

277 – George Coetzee 69 68 70 70

279 – Jayden Schaper 70 69 70 70

280 – Luca Filippi 72 69 71 68, Deon Germishuys 70 69 72 69

281 – Justin Harding 72 70 70 69

282 – Luke Jerling 69 73 70 70

284 – Ockie Strydom 71 73 71 69

286 – Trevor Fisher Jnr 68 77 74 67, Jacques Blaauw 71 75 72 68, Neil Schietekat 74 75 69 68, Estiaan Conradie 70 70 76 70

287 – Hennie Otto 71 70 74 72

288 – Wilco Nienaber 72 76 69 71, Louis Albertse 70 73 72 73, Jaco Ahlers 75 69 69 75

289 – Lyle Rowe 76 70 71 72, Martin Rohwer 71 72 73 73, James Hart du Preez 71 75 70 73

290 – JC Ritchie 78 75 70 67, Jaco Prinsloo 70 75 72 73

292 – Rupert Kaminski 75 76 72 69

293 – Ruan Conradie 73 76 71 73

294 – Louis de Jager 78 70 76 70, Rourke van der Spuy 70 76 73 75

295 – Alex Haindl 75 74 72 74

296 – Keenan Davidse 71 78 75 72, Jean Hugo 76 77 71 72

297 – Stephen Ferreira 75 75 73 74, CJ du Plessis 76 71 73 77, Jake Redman 71 73 74 79

298 – Heinrich Bruiners 74 77 74 73, Michael Palmer 74 74 75 75

303 – Luke Brown 75 73 80 75

305 – MJ Viljoen 74 75 81 75

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