Search form

Last updated: 4 min 40 sec ago

You are here


Consistent Elson targets roaring finish in Pretoria

PRETORIA: Jamie Elson will be looking to build on the positives from his consistent showing and produce another strong finish when he competes in The Roar, the third and final event on the MENA Golf Tour’s safari to South Africa, at Waterkloof Golf Club, starting on Tuesday.

The Englishman led by a shot heading into the final round of last week’s Jo’burg City Masters before settling for solo sixth on six under to improve upon his tied 14th finish at the South to East Challenge, the opening event of the MENA Tour’s South Africa swing, co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Big Easy Tour.

Elson, now placed second on the Order of Merit just behind leader Luke Joy, who has been forced to withdraw from this week’s event due to illness, will join a strong MENA Tour contingent as they look to make inroads into the domination of home players.

Other MENA Tour notables in the field include Craig Hinton, Tyler Hogarty, Antonio Costa, Fredrik From and Cyril Suk, who all have tasted success on the tour, and England’s cricketer-turned-golfer Craig Kieswetter, who was three-under after 36 holes last week, but a closing 79 undid his good start.

Maritz Wessels, currently sitting atop the Big Easy Tour Order of Merit, will spearhead the South African challenge along with a slew of strong conteders, including Breyten Meyer and Jaco Prinsloo, the winners of the first two co-sanctioned events.

Underscoring the array of talent on show, the first two events in the Rainbow nation have thrown up two different winners and, if the script holds good, a new champion could well emerge from the evening shadows coming down the final stretch on Thursday.

Young English prodigy Sam Hobday, who currently leads the MENA Tour Order of Merit for amateurs following his top-finish last week, will join his closest rival Tiago Lobo of Brazil and others in the division, aiming to round off the South Africa leg of the tour on a high at Waterkloof Golf Club.

One of the most popular courses in the Pretoria area, Waterkloof — formerly Monument Golf Club — was established in 1969, before it was redesigned by Peter Matkovich in 2004.

Highlighted by a mixture of well-placed trees, bunkers and exciting greens, the Waterkloof layout tests every aspect of the game.

An initiative of the Shaikh Maktoum Golf Foundation, the MENA Tour was created in 2011 with the aim of developing golf in the region. It is affiliated to R&A, the worldwide golf governing body based in the home of golf, St. Andrews, and the Arab Golf Federation and enjoys the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) status.

A guaranteed spot on the PGA Tour’s 2018 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational (for the MENA Tour champion), multiple European Tour starts, including the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Hassan II Trophy, Maybank Championship Malaysia, and the KLM Open, are some of the added incentives that await MENA Tour members, in addition to playing privileges on the Sunshine Tour, and exemptions into the final stage of the Sunshine Tour and Asian Tour Q-Schools.