PRETORIA, South Africa – Fresh off his victory Oct. 2 in the SAA Pro-Am Invitational, Sunshine Tour veteran Michiel Bothma is venturing back to European Challenge Tour – if only for a short trip.
The 37-year-old leaves on Sunday to play in at least one Challenge Tour event: Rome Golf Federation Cup, Oct. 13-16 in Rome. If he plays well, he might head to the Egyptian Open, Oct. 20-23 in Cairo
“Depending on how I do, I might play one more week over there, or I’ll come back and play the rest of the season at home (in South Africa),” said Bothma, who has four career Sunshine Tour titles.
He needs to play as much as possible if he’s to secure a 2011 European Tour card. Bothma has earned only €14,843 on the Challenge Tour this year in 12 events, 79th in earnings. The top 20 in the final 2010 Challenge Tour rankings obtain full playing rights on the 2011 European Tour.
The year, however, is going better for him in South Africa, where he is ranked No. 7 on the Sunshine Tour money list with ZAR 877,243.
Weather factors into Bothma’s schedule.
“I really don’t play well in cold weather,” he said. Bothma’s victory last week followed a pair of missed cuts in cool September weather of Austria and Paris.
“If I get straight into the final stage of the European Tour Q-School, then I will think really hard about playing in that,” he said. “The only problem is that it coincides with the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek in December, and that’s my favorite tournament.”
Bothma also is considering the Asian Tour Q-School in January, if he can fit it in between Sunshine’s season-opening events in South Africa.
“I need warm weather to play well,” he said, “and I hear it’s really warm in Asia.”
Sunshine Tour contributed to this report.