April 8, 2013
BEAUMONT - After finding success in their native South Africa earlier this year, former Lamar University golfers Dawie Van Der Walt and M.J. Daffue have returned to the United States and enjoyed outstanding weekends on a pair of professional tours.
Van der Walt won the Tshwane Open on the European Tour earlier this year to secure his European Tour card for two years. Looking to earn his 2014 PGA Tour card, Van der Walt is playing several events on the Web.com Tour where the top 25 on the money list will graduate to the PGA Tour next year.
The three-time Ping All-American took a big step toward finishing in the top 25 on the money list with a runner-up finish in the Brasil Classic Presented by HSBC. Van der Walt, who was the 2007 Southland Conference Player of the Year, closed with a final round 66 on Sunday at Sao Paulo Golf Club but came up one stroke short of winner Benjamin Alvarado.
The runner-up finish earned Van der Walt $72,900 and moved him to eighth on the Web.com money list. Van der Walt finished 40th on the money list last year with $137,683 in earnings.
Daffue played on the NGA Pro Golf Tour (formerly the Hooters Tour) over the weekend and took home the title at the NeSmith Chevrolet Classic at Sapelo Hammock Golf Club in Townsend, Ga. Daffue shot three straight rounds in the 60s, including a final round 67, to win the event by one shot over Sihwan Kim.
The 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year finished fourth in the Telkom PGA Pro-Am in his first event this season on South Africa's Sunshine Tour and picked up $22,000 for his victory Sunday in Georgia.