Williams leads the way

HARARE - With the 2016 Sunshine Tour season coming to an end, Mark Williams finished as the highest placed Zimbabwean golfer on the Order of Merit.

The 32-year-old ended the season on number 15 on the money list after earning a total of R938 801 from the 24 tournaments he took part in.

This was Williams’ best season on the Sunshine Tour circuit as he finished with seven top 10s including winning the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final at St Francis Links at the start of November.

It was his maiden win coming after 14 years having started playing on the circuit back in 2002.

His previous best season had been last year’s when he finished in 45th place on the money list with a total purse of R383 474. 

For Williams, that victory at St Francis Links was about opening doors in the future, rather than getting the monkey off his back

“Getting into the winner’s category on the Sunshine Tour makes a big difference in terms of tournaments I can get into,” he said at the time. “And I hope I can be in there more often now.”

The Zimbabwean carded a score of 11-under-par 205 following rounds of 68, 67 and 70.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Williams said. “It’s nice to finally get it under the belt. The belief has been there for the last 18 months. I’ll take the win, even with the shaky finish.”

After Williams, the next best-placed Zimbabwean was Scott Vincent, who played in eight tournaments before making the great trek to the Asian Tour. The 24-year-old finished the season in 54th place with a total of R331 180.

Vincent began the season with a tie for fourth place with South African Dylan Frittelli at the Eye of Africa PGA Championship held at the Eye of Africa Signature Golf Estate in February.

He also did well to secure a fifth place finish at the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open at Royal Harare Golf Club in April.

That same month, Vincent finished first at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open qualifier which opened the door for his biggest haul.

The former Virginia Tech student went on to secure an 18th place finish at the tournament the following month to pocket a R 198 656 cheque.

Ryan cairns had a subdued year on the Sunshine Tour this time around finish in 77th place on the Order of Merit after earning R 123 518.

Greg Bentley was placed 127th with modest winnings of R17 595 and in 146th place was Robson Saurombe with R5 800 while Mohammad Mandhu earned R5 310 in 148th place.   Rising South African golfer Brandon Stone leads the money list with a staggering R6 572 988 earned from only nine tournaments.

Stone had eight top 10 finishes in those nine tournaments including two wins at the BMW SA Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship.  

The Sunshine Tour 2017 season commences with the BMW SA Open at the Glendower Golf Club from January 12 to 15.

Former world number 1 Rory McIlroy has confirmed he will be playing in the tournament announcement which will surely make the crowds excited.

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