TO USE a well-worn saying in golf, when Merrick "Bomber" Bremner hits a ball it stays hit.

This means he is long off the tee, and although they don't do extensive stats on the Sunshine Tour like they do on the European Tour and the PGA Tour, he's in all likelihood among the top five so-called "gorillas" (big hitters) plying their trade on the fairways of South Africa.

Last week, for instance, the 27-year-old, who plays out of the Els Club Copperleaf, needed just a drive and a wedge to reach the green at the Royal Swazi Sun Country Club's par-five seventh on his way to victory in the Lombard Insurance Classic.

It was his first win on the Sunshine Tour since 2008 when he twice finished on top of leaderboards, in the self-same Lombard Insurance Classic and the Telkom PGA Pro-Am.

Two weeks ago Bremner had Lasik eye surgery and, as a result, found he was reading the lines on the greens a lot better in Swaziland. In fact, in the first round when he blitzed the course in nine-under-par 63, he was rolling the ball in from all over the place and needed only 22 putts.

"The improved vision really helped me to pick the lines a lot better and boosted my confidence over each putt. But that was just one tournament and we'll have to see what happens this week," said Bremner ahead of the Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament beginning at the Simola Golf & Country Estate in Knysna tomorrow.

The R600 000 event is the first of six in the 2013 Vodacom Origins series, culminating in the series final at St Francis Links in October. And Bremner might just be the player to watch over the next few months now that it's not only his long game but also his short game that seems to be working. The Vodacom Origins of Golf Series moves to Selborne Park in KwaZulu-Natal later this month, Euphoria in Limpopo and Langebaan in the Western Cape in August, Vaal de Grace in Parys in September, then the St Francis Links final.

A Simola qualifier takes place today ahead of tomorrow's first round in the 54-hole tournament on the Jack Nicklaus-designed lay-out.

  • Charl Schwartzel, who at one stage led by two in the PGA Tour's Memorial Tournament, could only manage 76-72 over the weekend to tie for eighth on four-under-par 284, eight shots adrift of winner Matt Kuchar. Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman shared 37th place on 290 with the fourth South African to make the cut, George Coetzee, ballooning to a last round 79 for 296.
  • In the German Open on the Ladies European Tour, Carlota Ciganda of Spain beat England's Charley Hull in a play-off after the pair had tied on six-under 101 in a tournament reduced to 27 holes because of bad weather.

    South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace tied for ninth on 105. Pace, winner of this year's Turkish Airlines Open, is fourth in the 2013 Order of Merit behind Ciganda, Hull and Thailand's Ariya Jutanugaru.

Written By GRANT WINTER, published in the Pretoria News / June 2013