Three spectacular golf centres outside the regular stops in Europe and the Unites States of America are collectively hosting this week’s headline action — Sun City in South Africa, Jumeirah in Dubai and Playa del Carmen in Mexico.
Teeing off at the top-notch Gary Player Country Club at Sun City on Thursday is the second oldest championship in the form of the South African Open, which is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine and European Tours.
A second European circuit event this week is the plainly-named Golf in Dubai Championship, presented by DP World Jumeirah Golf Estates, while the Mayakoba Golf Classic at El Camaleon GC in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, forms part of the U.S. PGA Tour.
For the Sun City affair, leading golfers Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace may be missing, but a third South African who plays regularly on the American circuit, Dylan Frittelli, has made the trip to the famous resort in the North West.
Frittelli, according to the organisers, believes so much in the history and tradition of the South African Open that he feels his career would be incomplete without adding his name to the acclaimed trophy.
“I’ve won on the European Tour and on the PGA Tour, and if I don’t win the South African Open, it’s definitely going to be something that I’ll feel like I haven’t accomplished in my career,” Frittelli said before the 110th edition of the national open.
He is back in South Africa after he tied for fifth at The Masters, while his rivals at Sun City include last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship winner Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who finished second in the 2016 SA Open, and former SA Open champions Brandon Stone, Richard Sterne, James Kingston and Hennie Otto.
The prize money is R19,5 million.
Added Frittelli in a statement: “The course looks really good, and the heat’s going to be a factor this week for sure.”
He said his game is feeling good.
“I got rid of the jetlag last week. I’m healthy and feeling fresh, so I’m really looking forward to this week.”
Needless to say, there are no South Africans at the Dubai tournament this week, where the prize money is $1,2 million, (over R18,4 million) but Grace will be in the hunt at the Mexican tournament. The prize money there is $7,2 million (over R110,4 million).
It is the last “normal” event on the US tour for this year, before selected tournaments complete the calendar.