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11th May 2017 | Big Easy Tour

BET growing stronger with MENA aboard

BET growing stronger with MENA aboard

The Sunshine Tour’s development circuit, the Big Easy Tour (BET), has been showing a steady growth and has proved to be a credible circuit over the past few years, and such growth has continued through to this season, as proven by the current Middle East and North African (MENA) Tour’s partnership.

The current partnership between the two Tours sees three events being co-sanctioned by the BET and MENA Tour: The South to East Challenge, The Joburg City Masters and The ROAR. Here’s what you need to know:

The South to East Challenge, 6-8 June:

This co-sanctioned event will be played at Ebotse Links in Benoni. A strong field of players from both Tours has been assembled which will see a much stronger competition. Bryandrew Roelofse won this event last year.

Number one Nigerian golfer Andrew Odoh is among those in the field and will want to start well in this new season. The same will apply for Chilean Matias Calderon whose three wins in three months as a professional on the Tour de Pacifico prove he is a real talent. Calderon earned his Sunshine Tour card early this year at Q-School and will probably see this event as an opportunity to polish his game ahead of the next event on the main tour.

Another player to be watched will be Maritz Wessel who leads the current Order of Merit standings while members of the Gary Player Class of 2017-18 like Makhetha Mazibuko, Jacquin Hess and Altaaf Bux will also want to show their value.

Joburg City Masters, 13-15 June:

Played at Country Club Johannesburg, the Joburg City Masters is another massive success in the two Tours’ partnership. Not only is it important for the city of Johannesburg but for the players as well, given the publicity and support it receives.

A seven-under-par 216 score clinched this title for England’s Craig Hinton last year, beating NJ Arnoldi by two strokes to the title. Arnoldi is in the field for the tournament and he will see it as an opportunity to reverse the fate which befell him last year.

Players to watch at this event will include Bennie van der Merwe whose exploits at Q-School earlier in the year showed a man who can play. He occupies fourth on the Order of Merit and must be viewed as a threat in all events.

The ROAR, 20-22 June:

The Roar returns to the Waterkloof Golf Club in the capital, Pretoria. Riekus Nortje’s 13-under-par 216 proved to be more than enough to see off the chasing Teaghan Gauche who finished nine-under-par and settled in second spot.

This season’s edition of the event promises to be just as breath-taking, especially looking at the field. The Vusi Ngubeni Q-School runner-up Gerard du Plooy has been seen by many onlookers as a talent which, once properly nurtured and unleashed, will become a genuine contender for victories. Luke Jerling has also played some solid golf in his rookie season of the Sunshine Tour as evidenced by some solid rounds at the Investec Royal Swazi Open recently.

Other players to watch at this event will include Wynand Dingle, Bennie van der Merwe, Anton Haig and Makhetha Mazibuko.