Sunshine Tour pros on fire in Stella Artois Players Championship

South Africa’s Heinrich Bruiners, pictured, Michael Hollick, Jaco Ahlers, and Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi are all tied for the lead at the Stella Artois Players Championship at Dainfern Golf Estate

South Africa’s Heinrich Bruiners, pictured, Michael Hollick, Jaco Ahlers, and Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi are all tied for the lead at the Stella Artois Players Championship at Dainfern Golf Estate. Photo: Tyrone Winfield/Sunshine Tour

Published Mar 22, 2024


When Heinrich Bruiners was asked what it will take to win the Stella Artois Players Championship at Dainfern Golf Estate this weekend, the co-leader laughed. After another day of incredible scoring, it feels as though nothing short of a 59 will be needed to claim victory on Sunday.

“I can’t believe it. The amount of rounds of 10 under par I saw today was incredible. I think the winning score will be around 27 under or 28 under with the way things are going. It just shows the level of golf on the Sunshine Tour,” said Bruiners, who is in a four-way tie for the lead on 15 under par going into the weekend.

Bruiners secured his place at the top of the leaderboard with a bogey-free 65. He is joined there by Michael Hollick who also signed for a 65, Zimbabwe’s Robson Chinhoi who posted a 64, and 2022 champion Jaco Ahlers who shot an incredible 62.

They are only one shot clear of a host of players on 14 under par including first-round leader Rourke van der Spuy.

But further down the leaderboard the scoring was still equally impressive on Friday.

Wynand Dingle worked his way to within two shots of the lead with a bogey-free 61. JJ Senekal also heads into the weekend on 13 under par following a 62. And Ryan van Velzen and Nikhil Rama both had nines of 29 to lift them to 11 under par overall.

Bruiners says it’s a reflection of the standard of golf being played on the Sunshine Tour, and it’s inspired him to work even harder at his game.

“I think people out there would immediately assume the golf course is a lot shorter, but we play it off the back tees. Look, you can go out and try and shoot those scores. It’s just awesome to see the standard the Sunshine Tour is at. It’s really impressive. It’s also been an added boost for me to work even harder.

“I’m excited. It’s so nice to be in the mix and leading the tournament. I enjoy it when I’m up there. I know people feel there’s expectation, but this is what I work for and I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made.”

It’s now been 11 years since Bruiners’ last victory on the Sunshine Tour and he says he’s more motivated than ever to prove he can win again.

“This has been the cumulation of a lot of things. I’ve changed my golf ball and made a few equipment changes, but I’ve also worked very hard. I’ve been driven to work even harder and keep making changes. Since Covid I’ve been grinding it out. I just want to feel like I can win again. That’s a big thing for me. I know people say you should play to make a living, but my biggest drive is to win on the big stage and I won’t stop until I get it right. I feel like I’m on the right path and have a bit more clarity about what I need to do. I’ll just hang in there and be patient until it’s my time.”


129 - Michael Hollick 64 65, Robson Chinhoi 65 64, Heinrich Bruiners 64 65, Jaco Ahlers 67 62

130 - Rourke van der Spuy 63 67, Keenan Davidse 64 66, Jean Hugo 65 65, MJ Viljoen 65 65, Callum Mowat 66 64, Hennie O'Kennedy 66 64, Haydn Porteous 64 66

131 - Harry Konig 67 64, Wynand Dingle 70 61, JJ Senekal 69 62

132 - Louis Albertse 66 66, Luca Filippi 65 67, Joe Long 66 66, Deon Germishuys 65 67, Keelan van Wyk 66 66

133 - Neil Schietekat 69 64, Ryan Van Velzen 70 63, Nikhil Rama 71 62, Darren Fichardt 67 66, Luke Jerling 66 67, Martin Vorster 69 64, Fredrik From 68 65, Stuart Krog 66 67, Jake Roos 66 67, Ruan Conradie 65 68

134 - Ricky Hendler 65 69, Martin Rohwer 68 66, Jaco Van Zyl 66 68, Jovan Rebula 69 65, Tristin Galant 67 67, Malcolm Mitchell 67 67, Stefan Wears-Taylor 66 68, Jacques Blaauw 68 66

135 - Tristen Strydom 66 69, JC Ritchie 66 69, Anton Karlsson 69 66, Trevor Fisher Jnr 67 68, Gerhard Pepler 66 69, Hayden Griffiths 67 68, James Mack 68 67, Jack Hawksby 66 69, Daniel van Tonder 64 71, Yurav Premlall 71 64, Conner Mackenzie 70 65, Pierre Pellegrin 65 70, Travis Ladner 68 67

136 - Ethan Smith 69 67, Albert Venter 72 64, Dylan Naidoo 71 65, Visitor Mapwanya 70 66, Luke Brown 70 66, Thabiso Ngcobo 70 66, Jonathan Waschefort 73 63, Jonathan Broomhead 67 69, Lyle Rowe 68 68

Michael Vlismas Media

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