Fairways in fine fettle

Richard Nkosi

Richard Nkosi

Preparations for the yearly Alfred Dunhill Championship golf tournament at Leopard Creek Country Club near Malelane in Mpumalanga from December 6 to 9, are in full swing.

Alvaro Quiros of Spain is the defending champion of this event, which is one of South Africa's most prestigious golf tournaments and among the most lucrative local golf events, boasting total prize money of about R10 million.

It is co-sanctioned by both the Sunshine Tour and European Tour and features top South African golfers Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel, Richard Sterne and others competing alongside some of the best professionals from Europe.

This year's tournament will be a 72-hole stroke play championship.

"We are very excited about all the preparations and we are looking forward to staging a wonderful tournament," tournament promoter Michelle van Eyden said.

"The field will comprise 156 professionals, with 73 allocated to each tour, and 10 invitations split five for Dunhill, in consultation with the Sunshine Tour, and five for Dunhill, in consultation with the PGA European Tour," said van Eyden.

If a playoff is required, it will be a sudden death over the 18th hole.

Play will be in three-balls on the first two days and in two-balls on the last two days after the cut.

Tickets to the public will only be available at Leopard Creek. They will cost R30 a day or R50 for the full four days.