Zander Lombard and Dylan Frittelli looking to push home advantage in SDC Championship

Zander Lombard, pictured, and Dylan Frittelli will be banking on home advantage when they take part in this week’s SDC Championship at St Francis Links

Zander Lombard, pictured, and Dylan Frittelli will be banking on home advantage when they take part in this week’s SDC Championship at St Francis Links. Photo: Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour

Published Feb 28, 2024


Zander Lombard knows that Rory McIlroy will be tough to catch at the top of the DP World Tour’s International Swing standings with two tournaments left, but the South African heads into the next two weeks on home soil more than ready for that challenge.

This week’s SDC Championship, which tees off at St Francis Links on Thursday, and next week’s Jonsson Workwear Open, both co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour, will complete the DP World Tour’s eight-tournament International Swing and with it the cash bonuses for the winner and exemptions into premier events on the tour.

The incredibly consistent Lombard is currently ranked ninth on the International Swing, with countryman Dylan Frittelli – also in the SDC Championship field this week – ranked seventh. McIlroy holds a strong position at the top of the standings with just two events to play, but Lombard in particular says he’s looking forward to making a run at it over these next two weeks.

“The International Swing is in the back of my mind. I’ve got a lot to do to catch Rory (McIlroy) who is way up there with points. It will have to be two good weeks in South Africa, but I’m ready for that,” Lombard said.

Lombard’s consistency this year has been astounding and he hasn’t finished worse than tied 16th in his last five tournaments.

While Frittelli has an equally good chance of making a strong push up the International Swing standings over these next two weeks, the recent DP World Tour winner said he’s trying not to make it his sole focus.

“I’m just trying to stay focused and play well through these next events. Everybody’s in town this week, including the top Sunshine Tour players. I know there are some cherries at the end of this stretch to get into other events, but I’m just going to keep my head down and not worry too much about that.”

The focus for this field right now will indeed be on managing a St Francis Links course that was already being buffeted by strong winds in Wednesday’s pro-am.

“It will be tricky in the wind this week. The course is playing a bit soft which makes it tricky in the breeze because you don’t get the run on those low shots. It will be a great test of distance control in the wind,” said Lombard.

Defending champion Matthew Baldwin dealt with the wind superbly last year and said it will key to victory again this week.

“It’s going to be a unique experience for me defending a title for the first time. You dream of winning on the DP World Tour and to achieve that at such a beautiful venue was special. But the golf course is just as beautiful as I remember it. You’ve got to keep it in play here. This course is visually intimidating so good ball striking is important.”

Michael Vlismas Media