Golf: Serengeti estate to host SA Open

2011-06-30 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — The South African Open championship will move back to Gauteng for the first time in over a decade with the announcement that the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate will host the championship in 2011.

The announcement was made at the official launch of this year’s championship at Serengeti yesterday.

Ernie Els has confirmed that he will defend his title at this year’s championship, which will be played from November 24-27.

“After the 100th playing of the South African Open last year, there is definitely a feeling that we have entered a new era in this championship’s illustrious history,” said Colin Burger, the president of the South African Golf Association (SAGA), who are the custodians of the SA Open.

“The SA Open forms part of the foundation of South African golf, and it is important that all South Africans are given an opportunity to share in its glory and history. So following an extended run, since 2001, at some of our finest coastal golf courses, we are delighted to see it return to Gauteng.”

This marks the first time that the national Open returns to Gauteng since it was played at Randpark Golf Club in 2000, and is the first major golf tournament to be hosted in the municipality of Ekurhuleni.

“The hosting of the SA Open Championship in Ekurhuleni gives me immense pleasure in that it confirms our capability as a metro to play host to major international events. The professional golfers taking part in the tournament will have the opportunity to explore the best that we have to offer,” said Mayor Mondli Gungubele, who attended the launch.

At the launch the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation also confirmed its support of the South African Open, saying it has a role to play in the new national sport and recreation plan.

The return of Els in defence of his title confirms the status of the SA Open as the flagship tournament in South African golf.

“We are delighted to have Ernie confirm his place in the field, and we look forward to some of the world’s leading golfers joining him at Serengeti, which is a magnificent venue for our national Open,” said Selwyn Nathan, executive director of the Sunshine Tour.

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