JOHANNESBURG  The Sunshine Tour on Friday announced it will be co-sanctioning three tournaments in South Africa in 2020 with the European Challenge Tour.

The Limpopo Championship which tees off on January 30 to February 2, the RAM Cape Town Open from February 6 to 9 and the Dimension Data Pro-Am from February 13 to 16 in the same month will all be co-sanctioned with the European Challenge Tour as of next year.

Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, Selwyn Nathan, was delighted with this development and said at the launch.

“We have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the European Tour for over 25 years and this has created opportunities for our members to earn playing privileges on the European Tour,” Nathan said.

“This new opportunity with the European Challenge Tour is now going to open up even more opportunities for our players to get onto the European Challenge Tour, which is another exciting development in our relationship with them.

“We already have the two co-sanctioned Sunshine Tour events with the European Tour; the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the South African Open hosted by the City of Joburg, which are full European Tour events and our players can earn playing privileges on both Tours.

“Dimension Data is played over three courses, played by 160 professional players, for us to increase this to 180 is quite doable. For Cape Town, it’s the perfect time of the year and to make this event bigger and better at that time of the year is fantastic. The Limpopo Challenge was a new tournament on our schedule this year and this new initiative will further strengthen the Limpopo Challenge as a significant tournament on our schedule.

Sharing Nathan’s excitement about the newly co-sanctioned events, Keith Waters of the European Tour said, “The development of young players, whether they are South African or European, is absolutely essential to the successes of our Tours and the growth of our game. We are absolutely delighted for this opportunity to add three superb events to the European Challenge Tour schedule.

“As you may know, it’s not possible to play on good golf courses in Europe in January, February and March, so coming down to South Africa is a great opportunity for our members to play in fine weather against the best talent in South Africa.”

The Limpopo Challenge will be played over two courses, Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate and Koro Creek Bushveld Golf Estate from Thursday, 30th January – Sunday 2nd February 2020. The prize money has been raised to R3 500 000 for this event.

"There are great benefits derived from sports tourism that we as Limpopo Tourism are very excited about this new development with the European Challenge Tour,” said Nomasonto Ndlovu, Chief Executive of Limpopo Tourism Agency.

“Our partnership with the Sunshine Tour and the European Challenge Tour to host the 2nd Limpopo Championship cements the niche that the province has identified in attracting international tourists to enjoy the benefits of visiting our province. In addition, we have identified development opportunities to identify and nurture young talent. It’s also important to recognise the positive impact this event will have on local economic development and we know that this golf tournament will help us to sustain our tourism and local economic goals.”

The RAM Cape Town is scheduled to be played at Royal Cape and King David Mowbray Golf Club and will offer a purse of R3 500 000 while the Dimension Data Pro-Am will remain at Fancourt and played over the three courses available at this property. 

African News Agency (ANA)