top field for sa golf open

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

The R12 million 2008 South African Open Championship was launched at Pearl Valley Golf Estate in Cape Town.

This prestigious championship, which is the second highest-sponsored event in the country, after the R28 million Nedbank Challenge, will be contested by a horde of exciting golfers from South Africa and abroad.

It will be held at Pearl Valley for the next three years but there are chances of moving it to other venues in future.

The event, which will be contested by the likes of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen from South Africa and overseas stars like Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose, will be played from December 18 to 21.

David Spencer, chief executive of the sponsors Leisurecorp, said he was over the moon that they were able to welcome a strong international field to this year's event.

"It is a great recognition of the growing importance of South Africa's place in the international golf hierarchy and of the growing reputation of Pearl Valley Golf Estate," Spencer said.

He added: "I'm particularly pleased to be able to welcome so many South Africa's best golfers back to this year's event.

"Els, who has always been a loyal supporter of the South African Open Championships, was the one of the first to register for this year's event. He is being joined by a real strong field.

"I'm looking forward to more of South Africa's great golfers taking part in the tournament."