The Sunshine Tour is hosting a new tournament, the Steyn City Championship, in Johannesburg, from March 5 to 7. Photo: steyncity.co.za

JOHANNESBURG  The Sunshine Tour is hosting a new tournament, the Steyn City Championship, in Johannesburg, from March 5 to 7.

The Steyn City Team Championship will take place at the Nicklaus-designed Steyn City, described as the ‘Augusta of South Africa’.

The 54-hole tournament will be made up of the top 96 professionals on the Sunshine Tour and will feature teams of two professionals. The teams will play 36 holes on day one of the championship, 18 holes of foursomes in the morning and 18 holes of greensomes in the afternoon. 

There will be a cut to the top 25 teams after the second day. The final day will feature a betterball format. The team with the lowest aggregate strokeplay score will win their share of the R1-million prize fund purse.

“We are thrilled to be able to get involved in such a unique tournament,” said Sunshine Tour Executive Director Selwyn Nathan. “Around the world, members of the golf industry are finding ways to make the sport attractive to new fans, and this is our way of contributing to this effort.

“We’re pleased to give our players an opportunity to showcase their skills in a platform that is so very different to the usual golfing format, and it’s a privilege to be able to do this with partners like Gauteng Province and Steyn City.”

The first day of play will provide a lot of excitement, with teams relying on both players to score as well as possible. Foursomes – also known as ‘alternate shot’ format – means players will have to rely on what their partners can do to put them in a position to make birdies and eagles. Greensomes is a format where both players on the teams tee off, and the better of the two tee shots is used. From that point, shots are played alternately again.

Team tournaments have been trialled on the European and PGA tours, but the alternate shot play brings a new element to the Steyn City Team Championship on the Sunshine Tour. This is a thrilling opportunity to see the Sunshine Tour professionals showing off their skills at one of South Africa’s best new courses. 

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