Wilco climbs more than a 1000 on OWGR

Wilco Nienaber as an amateur during the 2018 South African Open at the Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg. PHOTO: ERNEST BLIGNAULT/GOLFRSA

The 19-year-old golfer, Wilco Nienaber from Bloemfontein, has climbed over a 1000 places in the latest Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).

This follows his second-place finish during the Limpopo Championship on the Sunshine Tour over the past weekend.

Nienaber finished on 17 under par at the Euphoria Golf Estate in Modimolle, two strokes off of the champion, JC Ritchie, which saw the teenager climb from 1659th in the world to 654th.

The player, who plays out of the Bloemfontein Golf Club, pocketed just over R400 000 for his efforts. This is by far his biggest payday to date, but there is no doubt that it will just be the tip of the iceberg with regards to his career winnings.

Nienaber has entered for this week’s Cape Town Open at the Royal Cape Golf Club.

The player told Bloemfontein Courant he is delighted with his achievements over the past weekend and looks forward to carrying this form into the tournament in the Mother City.

“I played nicely last week and obviously for any young professional, earning a top ten or top three finish so early, is very motivational. Knowing that I can compete at this level is also a very big motivation.

“Earlier I told a fellow golfer that I’ve got a lot of good memories in the Cape. I’ve had quite a bit of success in the Cape, so I am really looking forward to getting started this week.”

Nienaber is the former top amateur golfer in South Africa, and following his matriculation at Grey College, he opted not to turn professional immediately. However, towards the latter stages of 2019, he turned pro and found himself competing on the European Tour.

While Nienaber has just played in four Sunshine Tour tournaments to date, he cards an average of 69.85 strokes per round. He also sinks and average of 4.62 birdies per round.

The 2020 Cape Town Open tees off on Thursday morning and it is an important stop on the tour ahead of next week’s illustrious Dimension Data Pro-Am at the iconic Fancourt in George. – MORGAN PIEK