Brilliant Christiaan Bezuidenhout banks R4.8m at Arnold Palmer Invitational
By Michael Sherman
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout earned R4.8m as he finished seventh at the Arnold Palrmer Invitational in Orlando, USA, on Sunday.
The 26-year-old carded rounds of 70 and 73 to finish on five-under, six shots behind American Bryson DeChambeau who triumphed on 11-under.
To go with his handy payday, Bezuidenhout also moved up three spots to 34th in the world rankings. He is now just one position off his best-ever ranking he achieved at the end of January.
Bezuidenhout is the second highest-ranked SA golfer in the world, with Louis Oosthuizen maintaining top spot at number 22. The 38-year-old Oosthuizen, however, might just start looking over his shoulder as Bezuidenhout continues to improve his ranking. Bezuidenhout was ranked 521st in the world at the end of 2018, 87th by the end of 2019 and 34th at the end of 2020.
Branden Grace was the next best SA player at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, as he finished in a tie for 26th. The 32-year-old is back on his way up the rankings, moving up eight spots to 75th.
In fact, Grace claimed victory just over a week ago at the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open which saw a huge jump from 147th to 83 in the world rankings. Grace is a former wold number-10, and appears to be hitting form at the right time ahead of the year’s first Major - The Masters at Augusta in April.
In total, South Africa have six golfers ranked inside the top-100 with Erik van Rooyen (63), Dylan Frittelli (68) and George Coetzee (79) all commanding positions among the world golfing elite.
Another trio of South Africans are ranked just outside the top-100, with Brandon Stone (103), Garrick Higgo (107) and Shaun Norris (112) all on the bubble.
African News Agency (ANA)