Christiaan Bezuidenhout made a timely move up the Race to Dubai ahead of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship after a composed four-stroke win at the Alfred Dunhill Championship saw him climb into the top ten.
The South African fired all four rounds in the 60s to finish on 14-under-par at Leopard Creek Country Club, well clear of four players who shared second place, and with it took home 460 Race to Dubai points to move into ninth in the Rankings, up from 21st. Bezuidenhout, who won his first European Tour title at last year’s Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, is set for a career-high end to the season after finishing last year in 18th place in the season-long race.
The runners up all made significant moves up the Rankings after collecting 182.5 points each. A third top ten of the season helped American Sean Crocker move up 32 places into 60th position and in line for a place in the field for the DP World Tour Championship – the final Rolex Series event of the season – while Polish rookie Adrian Meronk moved inside the top 100 to 81st with a leap of 44 spots.
England’s Richard Bland, who finished seventh at the Joburg Open a week earlier, moved up 43 places into 72nd as he looks set for his best finish in the Race to Dubai since 2016 when he was 27th in the season-long race while second place represents South African teenager Jayden Schaper’s best result of the season as he moved 118 places, up to 141st in the Rankings.
Five players finished in a share of sixth place to earn 72.85 points each, with both Marcus Armitage and Adri Arnaus solidifying their positions inside the top 60 in the Rankings after moving up six places to 51st and 52nd respectively. Recent winner of the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, Robert MacIntyre, continued his good form with another top ten and he also moved six places to 22nd.
Scotland’s Scott Jamieson moved up 11 places to 66th and France’s Alexander Levy moved up 22 places to 126th while there was a significant move made by big-hitting South African Wilco Nienaber who finished alone in 12th place to collect 47.3 points and move inside the top 60 in the Rankings.
Rory McIlroy is Ireland’s top ranked player on the standings in 17th after five counting events. Graeme McDowell is down a spot to 25th place from nine events while Shane Lowry remains unchanged in 33rd position. After missing the cut in Malelane last week, Jonathan Caldwell fell four places to 107th on the standings.
This week sees the European Tour host events held simultaneously in Dubai and South Africa, with the Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World teeing off Wednesday on the Fire course at Jumeirah Golf Estates and the South African Open at Gary Player Country Club starting on Thursday.