• Tshwane Open falls by the wayside

    George Coetzee
    George Coetzee won't be defending his title in 2019

    The Tshwane Open will not feature on the 2019 European Tour after months of speculation about the future of the co-sanctioned event.

    READ: RIP Joburg Open

    The European Tour confirmed its long-awaited schedule for the upcoming season with a bleaker picture for South Africa’s aspiring professionals with the loss of two co-sanctioned events after the news of the Joburg Open’s demise last week.

    The Tshwane Open, won in 2018 by George Coetzee, has been replaced in its March slot by the Kenya Open at Karen Country Club, a tournament elevated from Challenge Tour status to that of the main tour for next season.

    Tommy Fleetwood has stepped in to lend his support to the British Masters. The involvement of the reigning Race to Dubai leader has seemingly solved the event from joining the Tshwane Open on the scrap heap as the venue moves to Fleetwood’s hometown of Southport for 2019.

    ‘I can’t wait to host the British Masters in my hometown,’ said Fleetwood. ‘It will be such an honour and I’m so grateful to have been asked.

    ‘I’m extremely proud to follow the great ambassadors of our game who have hosted this tournament. I am very confident that Southport will make everyone welcome and the north west of England, and its love of golf, will embrace this opportunity and show support to us all.’

    The British Masters hosted by Tommy Fleetwood will mark the European Tour’s first visit to Hillside since 1982 when Tony Jacklin won the Sun Alliance PGA Championship – the precursor to the BMW PGA Championship – beating his fellow Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer in a playoff.

    The elevation of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA to a Rolex Series event was another key takeaway from Monday’s announcement.

    While the Rolex Series tournaments in Ireland and Scotland retain their July date and those in Turkey, South Africa and Dubai remain in November, there are changes for the BMW PGA Championship which moves from May to September, and the Italian Open which moves from June to October, both made to adapt to the ever-changing global golf landscape.

    Other tournaments to alter their 2019 dates include the Open de France, which moves from June to October; and the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, which moves from October to June.

    Click here to view the 2019 European Tour schedule.

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