Print 

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.

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