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MX News Update 2024

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R2.5 million purse confirmed as Sunshine Tour moves to Zim this week

The Sunshine Tour moves to Zimbabwe this week as a number of overseas-based South African golfers seek rare glory on the US circuit in simultaneous events taking place in the two Carolina states.

The domestic tour, which launched its new season last week, now presents the FBC Zim Open at the Royal Harare Golf Club, and home players are likely to be happy with a R2.5-million take in a country reportedly experiencing major economic problems.

Thursday’s opening of the first of four rounds of action in Harare features a dominant group of men from these shores, including Dylan Mostert, Daniel van Tonder, Neil Schietekat, Rupert Kaminski, Jaco Ahlers, Hennie Otto and Louis Albertse. There are also some European players in the field.

READ ALSO | Celebrating the best of golf in SA

The Sunshine Tour says Royal Harare was founded in 1898 by a group of intrepid golf enthusiasts, who played on conditions “a far cry from the lavish course we know today”.

Originally known as Salisbury Golf Club, the club was granted royal patronage in December 1929, and “despite its neat, opulent appearance, Royal Harare is no slouch indeed; the course rewards smart shot selection and course management.”

Meanwhile, Christiaan Bezuidenhout will carry the South African flag today at the start of the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina. Being a signature event of the US PGA Tour, the prize pool includes a whopping $20 million (R369 million).

READ ALSO | Top SA golfers seek rewards at events on European, US and LIV circuits

In nearby South Carolina, the new Myrtle Beach Classic is getting underway at the same time.

The “Saffers” chasing rewards there include Garrick Higgo, Erik van Rooyen and Thriston Lawrence, all of whom have seen better form than has been the case of late.

It will be played at Dunes Beach and Golf Club in Myrtle Beach and the prize pool will be $4 million.
The winners of this week’s two PGA events will qualify for the second major of the year next week – the US PGA Championship, if they have not already qualified.

That seems like a strong incentive for the South African players. On the women’s side, the LPGA Tour presents the Cognizant Founders Cup in New Jersey, USA.