Six-time Sunshine Tour winner Jake Roos is looking forward to return to the field when the Rise-Up Series gets under way with a ‘Gauteng Swing’ next week.
After months without any professional golf in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the series will feature five exciting events to mark the Tour’s resumption with a total purse of R600,000 on offer.
The Sunshine Tour has launched a whole host of initiatives to enhance engagement and interaction with the event, seeing that play will be conducted behind closed doors.
‘The professionals are very excited. It’s been a long time coming. The last tournament we played in was the Tour Championship in February, so everyone is really grateful for this new series,’ Roos said in a virtual media conference on Tuesday.
‘These are tough times and it shows a lot of dedication from all involved to present a new series of five tournaments. As professionals we are very grateful for this opportunity to compete again. I think it’s uncharted waters for many of us. Some of the professionals have hardly ever taken a week off and now it’s suddenly been a few months off.
‘Fortunately the golf courses have opened and we have had the opportunity to start practising again. Until you get into a tournament and feel the pressure of tournament play again, I think none of us are really certain where our games are at. But the positive is that everyone is well rested and ready to rumble again.’
The first event will tee off at the Killarney Country Club on Wednesday, 19 August as the first of five 54-hole tournaments.
— Compleat Golfer (@CompleatGolfer) August 7, 2020
Deputy commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, Thomas Abt, says all players and staff will have to adhere to strict on-course health regulations to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
‘All of our professionals and Sunshine Tour staff are undergoing a screening process and this started two weeks before the first tournament. We will also have a screening station at the various tournaments for all who enter the premises.
‘If there are any inconsistencies that become prevalent in that screening, the player will be taken to a holding room for 20 minutes. He will then be subjected to a second screening. If there are still inconsistencies, then that player will have to leave the facility. And we will be vigilant in ensuring our players follow this to the letter of the law and as per the government regulations around all professional athletes and competition,’ explained Abt.
19-21 August: Rise-Up Series Event 1 Betway Championship at Killarney Country Club
26-28 August: Rise-Up Series Event 2 sponsored by African Bank at Glendower Golf Club
2-4 September: Rise-Up Series Event 3 at Pretoria Country Club
23-25 September: Rise-Up Series Event 4 at ERPM Golf Club
30 September-2 October: Rise-Up Series Event 5 at Huddle Park Golf Club.
Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images