Richard Sterne was born on this day in 1981, in Pretoria. He was runner-up in the Boys’ 15-17 Division at the 1999 World Junior Golf Championships and turned pro in 2001.
He played on the European Challenge Tour in 2002 and graduated to membership of the main European Tour in 2003. He won his first European Tour title at the 2004 Open de Madrid and his second at the 2007 Celtic Manor Wales Open. In 2008 he picked up his third victory at the Joburg Open which is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, and at the end of 2008 won a further two European Tour tournaments in South Africa.
His best year-end ranking on the European Order of Merit is 14th in 2007. His Celtic Manor win moved him into the top 40 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time.
He has had six wins on the Sunshine Tour, and won that tour’s Order of Merit in 2008. In January 2008 he reached a career high of number 29 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He missed most of the 2010 and 2011 seasons with injury.
In February 2013, Sterne won the Joburg Open by seven strokes, to end a four year winless drought from which he had been plagued with back injuries. This marked his sixth victory on both the European and Sunshine Tours and came on the back of a second place finish he had in the previous week at the Dubai Desert Classic. It was also the first event that he had won wire-to-wire. The win moved him inside the top 60, which meant qualification for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and to the top of the Race to Dubai standings.
Sterne is friends with South African golf icon, Gary Player (to whom he is often compared because of their similar small stature) and has played several times in the Gary Player Invitational charity event to help raise funds for less fortunate children’s education.