Golf is quickly becoming a popular sport in Africa, with many young African golfers pursuing it relentlessly as a career path. This raging wave is unlike earlier times when golf was viewed as a pastime for the old and wealthy as they discussed multi-million business deals. A country like South Africa boasts world-renowned pro golfers like Gary Player, who won tournaments all around the globe and created an impressive record of 163 tour wins and nine majors.
In 2022, some African stars have stolen the show in major tournaments like the PGA Tour, LIV Series, and the US Open. Below we look at some of the most promising African swing masters to watch out for in 2023.
Louis Oosthuizen (above) is one of Africa’s best golf exports. The smooth-swinging veteran mostly enjoys a top 20 ranking in the world and rarely misses a chance to stun in major global tournaments. In 2021, for instance, Louis finished second in both the US Open and PGA Championship.
The South African star currently ranks first in his country and boasts, among other accolades, being the 2010 Open Championship winner. Louis recently resigned from the PGA Tour to join the LIV Invitational Golf series, and he will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting golfers to watch out for in 2023.
Erik van Rooyen
Another stunning young African talent causing waves on the international golf scene is Erik van Rooyen. The 33-year-old has a refined way of hitting his iron shots, which was evident when he won the Barracuda Championship on the PGA TOUR in 2021.
1n 2022, van Rooyen was ranked 28th for strokes gained on approach on the PGA Tour, making him a world-class golfer worth global attention in 2023. The pro golfer currently ranks second in his native South Africa and among the Top 100 golfers worldwide.
After completing the PGA Championship in 2022, South African golfer Shaun Norris climbed to rank 66th worldwide and seemed ruthless in his quest for the top. The star stunned golf fans with his stellar performance when he won the 2021/22 Sunshine Tour Order of Merit and subsequently qualified for the US Open.
Norris has been steadily climbing this year, having bagged the DP World Tour title at the Steyn City Championship for the first time in March. The golfer has also signed up for the LIV Invitational Golf series and aims for the stars in 2023.
Branden Grace is a skilled golfer known for his unpredictable surprises on the golf course. Although his form had somewhat deteriorated on the PGA Tour in recent years, switching to the LIV Invitational Golf series seems to have given his career a revival boost as he finished tied for third in London in 2022 and seems energized for an even better 2023.
Notable moments in Branden’s career include the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale, where he became the first golfer in history to shoot a round of 62 in a major. The star’s low trajectory ball-striking turns magical when combined with exposed golf courses and high winds, and he has an array of wins to testify to that, such as the Qatar Masters in the desert and the Puerto Rico Open.
Zimbabwe-born South African golfer Dean Burmester is another fast-rising African swing master worth looking out for in 2023. Dean currently ranks at 82nd position worldwide and 3rd in South Africa and has proven himself as a force to reckon with in the Sunshine and European Tours.
Burmester boasts eight wins on the Sunshine Tour, with notable victories of the 2015 Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open and the PGA Championship in November 2021. On the European Tour, the golfer won the Tenerife Open European Tour title in May 2021 and finished in a share of 10th in this year’s Genesis Scottish Open.
Three-time European Tour winner Christiaan Bezuidenhout cannot be left out in the list of most promising African golfers going into 2023. The 28-year-old star has risen steadily from winning the 2019 Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters to bagging the South African Open & Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2020.
Christiaan is currently ranked 4th in South Africa and 71st worldwide and was one of the golfers that received invitations to the 2022 PGA Championship. With his young age and upward trend, Bezuidenhout could easily rank among the world’s best golfers soon.
Although players from America and Europe have traditionally dominated golf, other parts of the world, like Africa, are opening up to this fantastic sport. South Africa leads the continent in adopting the game and has pro golfers that dominate top tournaments like the PGA Tour and LIV Invitational Golf series. The above-listed African golfers are some of the most exemplary acts on the golf course, and it will be interesting to watch their form in 2023.
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