Top golfers to tee for SA Open

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

With the closing date for the South African Open Championship set for two weeks before the event in December, top players Henrik Stenson and Chris Wood have joined a strong field of golfers who will tee off at Pearl Valley Golf Estate.

Both golfers have confirmed their participation in the showpiece that tees off on December 18-21. They will join Trevor Immelman, Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in what is expected to be an exciting three-day event.

James Kamte, who have been playing in Europe, will also take part and so will Omar Sandys who has been on top of his game lately, Thabang Simon, Eugene Marugi and Bafana Hlophe, to mention a few. Stenson is determined to become the second Swedish champion of this tournament following the triumph of Mathias Grönberg at Randpark Golf Club in 2000. The Swede made a significant impact on world golf last year, winning the Dubai Desert Classic and the World Golf Championships.

This year Stenson has already achieved 10 top-10 finishes on The European Tour, including tied third in the British Open and tied fourth in the US PGA Championship.

Wood joins a distinguished field as a result of having turned professional shortly after he tied into fifth-place finish in the British Open at Royal Birkdale while still an amateur.

He is eager to join an equally illustrious list of champions who have won the South African Open on their first appearance. They include Vijay Singh and Bobby Locke.

David Spencer, Leisurecorp chief executive-golf, owners of Pearl Valley Golf Estates, said: "Henrik is based in Dubai and is a good friend of ours. So I'm delighted that he has decided to play.

"He's one of the biggest hitters in the game and always a big draw. Wood was an unknown before The Open, but his incredible performance at Birkdale, not to mention his immense frame, made a few people sit up and take notice. He's a rising star of the game and definitely one to watch this season."