SA pro golf gets even better

2012-06-23 15:12

In what will be a ground-breaking move in South African professional golf, the Sunshine Tour will unveil a new match play golf tournament to be played in Pretoria in November.

The international event will be officially unveiled at a hotel in Sandton, northern Johannesburg, tomorrow.

It is expected to rank among the big attractions on the tour’s yearly calendar such as the PGA Championship, the SA Masters and the SA Open.

Match play is a scoring system for golf in which a player, or a team, earns a point for each hole in which they better their opponents.

This is opposed to the stroke play format, in which the total number of strokes is counted over one or more rounds of 18 holes.

Duncan Cruickshank, the Sunshine Tour’s marketing and communication director, played his cards close to his chest regarding the details of tomorrow’s announcement.

He said: “I can’t let the cat out of the bag as all details will be disclosed at the media briefing. All I can say is that this is going to be a big event.”

A source close to the tour said an international sponsor for the new competition will also be officially announced during the briefing.

He said an array of some of the world’s leading golfers will be included in the line-up to contest the tournament alongside South Africa’s most accomplished players, including Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and new kid on the block Branden Grace.

“There will also be some of the country’s up-and-coming players on the line-up,” said the source.

South African players Gary Player and Els have previously made their mark by dominating the World Match Play Championship, putting their country on the map in this format.

Player, who is the country’s most successful golfer, won the event five times during his illustrious career.

Els, who plies his trade in the US, has won it a record six times.

The veteran finished tied for ninth in the US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco last weekend.

It will be interesting to see who of the local crop of players will be named tomorrow to compete in Pretoria.

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