Darren Fichardt has been forced to withdraw from this week’s South African Open Championship at Sun City after testing positive for Covid-19.
The SA Open tweeted the news on Tuesday, adding that “Fichardt is currently self-isolating and being given all the necessary support from the Sunshine Tour to ensure his safety.”
The event is scheduled to take place at the Gary Player Country Club from 2-5 December.
Meanwhile, former SA Open champion Hennie Otto said there would be no lack of motivation for those taking part.
“To win the South African Open is any South African golfer’s dream. But I also believe any international golfer who competes on the Sunshine Tour also wants to win this championship because of its history.
“A lot of things have changed in terms of this week over the past few days. Covid-19 has made things a bit different. But I can tell you one thing that hasn’t changed – it’s still going to be an incredible honour for the golfer who lifts that trophy on Sunday.”
Defending champion Christiaan Bezuidenhout said it was great to be back at Sun City.
“I have some fond memories here. I’m ready for the week, and ready to take the trophy home again,” he added.
The 111th playing of the national Open has drawn a field that also includes PGA Tour winner Garrick Higgo; former SA Open champions Brandon Stone, Richard Sterne and James Kingston; multiple DP World Tour champions Dean Burmester, George Coetzee and Justin Harding; rising young South African professionals Jovan Rebula and Martin Vorster; and South Africa’s top-five amateurs led by No 1 Christiaan Maas.