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Christiaan Bezuidenhout, a former member of the Ernie ElsFoundation, won his maiden Sunshine Tour event in October 2016.

Bezuidenhout, who had secured his Tour card by topping the previous year’s Big Easy Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, triumphed in the R700,000 Sun Fish River Challenge at Fish River Sun Hotel and Country Club. And what a way to do it! Bezuidenhout had endured a potentially disastrous mid-round wobble on a day of gusting winds and fluctuating fortunes, but the young man showed incredible maturity and talent down the stretch to get the ‘bus back on the road’. He made a birdie on the 15th, an eagle on the 16th, a par on the 17th and a decisive birdie on the 18th to beat Danie van Tonder into second by two strokes.

Ever since securing his playing privileges Bezuidenhout has looked like a winner-in-waiting, having finished runner-up in his very first tournament of 2016, the BMW SA Open. Getting this win under his belt, though, is obviously a significant moment. “One of my goals was definitely to win an event,” he said. “I’ve had a few chances so far and just couldn’t get the job done, so I’m glad to tick the box now.”

Speaking from his home in Florida, Ernie commented, “I send my congratulations to Christiaan. It was only 12 months ago that we were praising him for securing his 2016 Tour card in the Big Easy Tour Championship at The Els Club Copperleaf, a fine effort in his rookie year. Now here he is with his first main Tour win under his belt already; it’s a fantastic moment for any young player, that first win on Tour. We’re all proud of you Christiaan and wish you continued success in your career.”

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