The South African Open is set to be a competition of note when the second oldest national golf event in the world heads to the Gary Player Country Club in December.
The event will conclude the ‘Summer Swing’ of the European Tour as part of three co-sanctioned events with the Sunshine Tour on South African soil.
13-time winner of the SA Open, Gary Player, is just as excited for the prestigious event to head to his world-famous layout in Sun City in what promises to be four very enthralling rounds of golf.
‘The South African Open has always been immensely important to me in my career. I won it 13 times, but many times I couldn’t even play in it. I’d estimate that there were at least four occasions when I was in the prime of my career that I didn’t play the SA Open. But I’m extremely grateful to have won our national Open 13 times,’ Player said of a record that will most likely never be broken.
This will be the first time the Gary Player Country Club plays host to the event with Johannesburg usually the city of accommodation.
‘I’m very proud that the Gary Player Country Club has been selected to host the SA Open this year. I can honestly say that never as a young man did I ever think the South African Open would be played on a golf course I had designed.
‘Our national Open has travelled around the country and throughout its history has always been played on our most iconic golf courses. The fact that the Gary Player Country Club will now become a part of this history is a very special moment for me.’
This edition, though, will see the nines swapped at the iconic course with the beautiful par-five, ninth, now acting as the final hole.
‘That’s the most exciting thing about this year’s SA Open for me. It’s actually how the golf course was originally designed. As it plays now, the 16th, 17th and 18th holes make for a very tough finish. By finishing on the ninth, it’s going to make for an exciting end to the tournament. You can make an eagle there and it changes everything. I think the fans are going to enjoy watching this year’s finish from their homes,’ Player added.