Golf | 30 Oct 2017 | By Michael Vlismas

All to play for in Vodacom Origins of Golf Final

Jared Harvey

The Vodacom Origins of Golf concludes its 14th season as South African golf’s most prestigious pro-am series with this week’s national final at the Simola Golf and Country Estate, and with major incentives for both the professionals and the amateurs.

The winning amateur from the 36-hole pro-am on Tuesday and Wednesday will join Louis Oosthuizen and a host of other stars from the European Tour and Asian Tour in the official pro-am of the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open at The Heritage Golf Club at the end of November.

And the professionals, who compete in their own 54-hole competition from Thursday to Saturday, have their own incentives as they build towards the main summer section of the Sunshine Tour.

Next week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge, hosted by Gary Player, tees off the peak period for South African golf, with the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open and then the Joburg Open seeing out the end of 2017. In the midst of this, Gary Player also hosts his own Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola at the Lost City Golf Course, and often invites rising young Sunshine Tour players to join this field.

The BMW South African Open, hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni, is then the first tournament of 2018 and the start of a busy first three months in local golf where a good week can dramatically change a player’s career.

So those competing at Simola this week have every reason to be looking for a strong finish to the Vodacom Origins series.

This year veteran Sunshine Tour professional Doug McGuigan has won twice on the series, while Keith Horne also claimed a victory. And there were two maiden winners in Jared Harvey and Hennie du Plessis.

Harvey in particular used his win in the Zimbali Country Club leg of the series as a springboard to his best season ever as a professional.

The KwaZulu-Natal golfer went on to claim three top-10s in three of the Sun Challenge series tournaments, including his narrow second-place finish in the Sun Sibaya Challenge last week.

He heads to Simola in top form and full of confidence.

“Winning on the Vodacom Origins of Golf series is a big stepping stone because it helps with a lot in terms of getting ready for the big summer events coming up,” he said.

“I’ve played nicely since my win on the series. Sometimes you can put pressure on yourself to win and have good results, but luckily I’ve built on that win with some good performances.

“I’m also currently lying second on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, so a good week here can get me even closer to that number one spot.”