Cape Town - The governing board of the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) has approved the elevation of the South African Open Championship to the status of Flagship Tournament on the Sunshine Tour.
The SA Open's elevation is in place of the postponed Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Until last season, the Alfred Dunhill Championship had been the Flagship Tournament on the local circuit.
However, it was discontinued last season, which prompted the second oldest open championship in the world to be elevated to flagship status with immediate effect.
This means 32 OWGR points will be allocated to the winner of the SA Open, which was won last year by Englishman Graeme Storm.
The 32 ranking points is significant as a ranking in the world Top 50 grants automatic entry to all majors and World Golf Championships.
According to the Sunshine Tour website, this comes after the announcement that from 2018, the Sunshine Big Easy Tour tournaments will be scheduled over a minimum of 54 holes with a 36-hole cut - and thus fulfills the requirements for inclusion in the OWGR.
The 107th edition of the SA Open, hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni, tees off at Glendower Golf Club from January 11-14.