Lawrence wins decimated Joburg Open

South African Thriston Lawrence has won the shortened Joburg Open to claim his maiden European Tour victory.

The opening event of the 2022 season had been reduced to 54 holes to allow non-South African resident players, caddies and tournament support staff to return to their home countries, with international travel restrictions imposed on the country after the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant.

Lawrence’s fellow South African Zander Lombard was second four shots behind, and a shot clear of another South African in Shaun Norris and England’s Ashley Chesters.

Lawrence turned professional in 2014. He competed on the MENA Tour in 2015 and the Challenge Tour in 2016 and won the MENA Tour Order of Merit in 2015. He then played on the Big Easy Tour in 2018 before gaining his card for the 2019–20 Sunshine Tour season, where he won his first Sunshine Tour event in 2019 at the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Stellenbosch.

WITB: Thriston Lawrence

  • Titleist Pro V1 Golf Ball
  • PING G425 Max Driver (10.5º)
  • PING G425 Max 3W (17.5º)
  • PING G410 Crossover (20º)
  • PING iBlade (4i-PW)
  • PING Glide 3.0 (50º, 54º & 60º)
  • PING Heppler Tyne 3 Putter

Saturday’s victory in the co-sanctioned European Tour event is by far his biggest to date.

“It’s so surreal,” said Lawrence. “I don’t think anyone thought it would turn out this way, to finish on a Saturday afternoon but I’m just really thankful. It’s a life-changing moment for me.”

“Thriston Thriston Lawrence (Credit: European Tour)

“It’s a lifelong dream that has come true. Unbelievable golf these last few days.”

The victory secures a start in The Open Championship at St Andrews next year and moves Lawrence to 243rd on the world rankings. He also now has the luxury of a European Tour exemption until 2023.