Sunshine tour reveals new events

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The Sunshine Tour announced the addition of two new tournaments - the Nelson Mandela Championship and the Tshwane Open - to the 2013 European Tour schedule on Tuesday.

The Nelson Mandela Championship would be held between December 6-9 this year, and the Tshwane Open would take place from February 28 to March 3.

The Tshwane Open would be played at The Els Club at Copperleaf, and the Nelson Mandela Challenge would be held at either the Royal Durban Country Club in Durban or the Humewood Golf Club in Port Elizabeth.

"We have this opportunity now to continue the legacy of South African golf," said executive director of the Sunshine Tour, Selwyn Nathan.

With the additional two events, South Africa will host six co-sanctioned tournaments next season, more than any other country that holds European Tour events.

Nathan urged top South African players to add the Tshwane tournament to their schedules.

With a prize purse of 1.5 million euros (R15.8 million), the winner would earn a two-year exemption on the European Tour.

"We're hoping our top players like Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace will support this event," he said.

The 72-hole Nelson Mandela tournament would be the first on the 2013 European Tour schedule, Nathan said, forming part of the Race to Dubai - the season long moneylist.

Half the field, as per all co-sanctioned Sunshine and European Tour events, would be exempt, the organisers confirmed, and Nathan said they hoped to attract promising young South African golfers to the tournament.

"We're hoping to tie up a deal that is a minimum of three years," Nathan said.

Meanwhile, the Sunshine Tour also announced that the co-sanctioned Alfred Dunhill Championship, taking place at Leopard Creek Country Club in December, would have an increased prize purse of more than 50 percent - to 1.5 millions euros (R15.8 million).

"We're delighted that one of the Sunshine Tour's best tournaments now carries a reward for the winner which is appropriate for the prestige of the event," Nathan said.


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