O’Donovan safely through to Final Qualifying Stage on Sunshine Tour

Mark McGowan

Richard O'Donovan (Photo by Tony Marshall/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Richie O’Donovan, the sole Irish player at the Sunshine Tour’s First Qualifying Stage, has safely progressed to the Final Stage, courtesy of a closing five-under-par round of 67 to finish tied for ninth in the 142-man field.

Rounds of 68, 70 and 69 at Johannesburg’s State Mines Country Club had left the professional who originally hails from Lucan in a strong position going into the final round, but he couldn’t afford to be complacent though realistically, anything under par would almost guarantee safe passage through through.

Birdies at the first and third holes added some early cushion, and though he’d give a stroke back at the fourth, five straight pars would follow and he’d turn for home at one-under for the day and two strokes clear of the provisional cut off point.


With the finishing line coming into view, he pressed on the accelerator. Three birdies on a spin from 10 through 12 was just what the doctor ordered, and he’d add another on the 15th for good measure.

A bogey at the 17th was inconsequential, but he made amends at the last nonetheless, carding his seventh birdie of the day to sign for a five-under 67, finishing tied for ninth overall, and comfortably earning his place in the Final Qualifying Stage which will be held at Heron Banks from April 18-21.

Should O’Donovan make the top 20 at Heron Banks, he’ll repeat the feat achieved in March of 2020, though he had to wait more than seven months to get his first start due to the upheaval caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Leading qualifier was South Africa’s own Caylum Boon. The 25-year-old fifth-year pro shot a blistering -32 over four rounds, including back-to-back 63s to close out the week to finish 13 strokes ahead of nearest challenger David Wicks from England.


Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.