IN HIS first outing since rolling in a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole in Australia last month to retain his European Tour card, David Drysdale secured a top-10 finish in the Lion of Africa Cape Town Open.
A proven performer in the Rainbow Nation over the years, the 39-year-old signed off with a 71 for a ten-under-par total of 278 at Royal Cape Golf Club. It secured sixth spot for Drysdale as Jaco Ahlers beat fellow South African Hennie Otto and Englishman Ross McGowan in a play-off to claim the title.
Drysdale, the sole Scot in the field, is preparing for the start of the 2015 European Tour season, which, in his case, will be in the Dunhill Championship starting at Leopard Creek on Thursday week.
Before then, two Scots – Stephen Gallacher and Marc Warren – are in the field for this week’s Nedbank Challenge, which carries a £4 million-plus prize fund and heralds the official start of the new campaign.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
Among those set to join Gallacher and Warren at Sun City are US Open champion Martin Kaymer, former world No 1s Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and last year’s winner, Thomas Bjorn.
Meanwhile, defending champion Greig Hutcheon is aiming to go low in today’s final round of the Titleist PGA Play-Offs fin Turkey as he looks to end his 2014 campaign with a GB&I PGA Cup spot and 2015 BMW PGA Championship spot in the bag. After a pair of 68s over the PGA Sultan Course in Belek, the Tartan Tour No 1 was sitting in a share of third place – four shots off the lead held by Ireland’s Niall Kearney – alongside Englishmen David Dixon and Jason Levermore. A top-three finish will guarantee the Paul Lawrie Golf Centre player both of his aims.
“It keeps me in it but the guys are pressing on and I really need my best round of the week tomorrow and get in the PGA Cup team,” said Hutcheon. “I think it will be quite tense tomorrow. Some of the lads have never played PGA Cup and I have and I know how great a tournament it is and how much I want to be there. I’ve not played fantastic but I’ve a couple of good scores and I know I’ve got a good round of golf in me and that’s what I need to find tomorrow.”
Clydeway Golf man Graham Fox carded a two-under-par 69 to add to his opening level-par effort to sit in a share of eighth, with Hutcheon’s stablemate Greg McBain tied for 22nd after rounds of 75 and 71.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS