The most prize money it has ever offered and increased European Challenge Tour points mark a new era for the Dimension Data Pro-Am, which tees off at Fancourt on Thursday.
The Sunshine Tour field of 156 professionals will play the three courses of Montagu, Outeniqua and The Links for an increased purse of R7.3-million in the 72-hole tournament.
There will be the usual glittering array of former sports stars, celebrities and business leaders as their amateur partners, including former Springboks Schalk Burger Jnr, Schalk Brits, Akona Ndungane and Odwa Ndungane, former Bafana Bafana footballer Jimmy Tau, singer Kurt Darren and comedian David Kau.
Dimension Data, in partnership with Standard Bank, have also increased the prize money for their Sunshine Ladies Tour event to R2.5-million, with 40 professionals competing over 54 holes alongside an equally star-studded list of amateurs.
“This year we are committed to elevating women’s sport. This is something that we are passionate about addressing in 2023,” said Nompumelelo Mokou, Southern Africa managing director at Dimension Data.
As part of a strong South African Swing of four Challenge Tour events in February, the Dimension Data Pro-Am will also feature increased points on the Road to Mallorca rankings.
It’s a significant moment for a tournament that has a long history of excellence.
Since its debut in 1996, the men’s event has seen victories by Major winners such as Nick Price, Trevor Immelman, Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Lawrie.
It has also helped to launch the careers of South Africa’s next generation of stars such as Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Wilco Nienaber.
The women’s tournament has a list of past champions including Lee-Anne Pace, Nobuhle Dlamini, Nicole Garcia, Stacy Bregman and Lejan Lewthwaite.
“The Dimension Data Pro-Am is one of our most important tournaments in both legacy and inclusion through its celebration of and commitment to the men’s and women’s game on the Sunshine Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour,” said Thomas Abt, commissioner of the Sunshine Tour.
“We’re privileged to have Dimension Data as a longstanding sponsor and partner who shares our vision to keep driving the game forward and create opportunities for our professionals.”