Tourney open door for black golfers
Talented and promising young black golfers and veterans will be part of the lucrative Joburg Open that tees off at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club next year.
The event, the second biggest local four-day tournament in terms of prize money - behind the Nedbank Golf Challenge - gets under way from January 9 to 13.
It will be contested by players such as James Kamte, Thabang Simon, Omar Sandys, Joe Trongo and veterans John Mashego and Vincent Tshabalala.
The tournament, which will boast a field of 204 international and local players, is hosted by the City of Johannesburg.
The main event will be preceded by the Joburg Pro Am on January 8 at the same venue.
The European Tour and Sunshine Tour are jointly sanctioning the Open. It is one of three South African tournaments to carry this accreditation.
The South African Airways Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship are the others.
The second edition of the tournament will carry total prize money of R10,7 million.
The inaugural Joburg Open was held in January and brought a number of development opportunities to the fore.
"On the strength of our experience and performance in the first one, we have every intention to host the event to beyond 2010 in order to entrench the legacy of golf among the people of our city," said Amos Masondo, executive mayor of Johannesburg.
"We will be canvassing other role players to come on board to this unique and unifying event so that it becomes a truly Joburg-owned initiative that promotes the culture of sport on an international stage and thus provides stability as the tournament grows from year to year.
"You will recall that in January this year we announced that some of the funds raised from the 2007 Joburg Open will be used for the establishment of a golf driving range and the construction of the golf education center [academy] in one of the disadvantaged communities in the city.
"I would like to report that a golf driving range has been developed just outside Alexandra township.
"This tournament also seeks to position Johannesburg and the province where it is located, Gauteng, as a tourist destination and provide opportunities of investment promotion and development."