This week’s South African PGA Championship has drawn a strong local field including a former three-time champion, past contenders and the next generation of stars all seeking a place on the trophy of South African golf’s second oldest professional tournament.
The windswept fairways of St Francis Links will from Thursday to Sunday feature a tantalising mix of the best of the Sunshine Tour in a tournament that also celebrates the support of the Eastern Cape Tourism and Parks Agency for three years.
The in-form Kyle Barker, fresh from his second victory this year in last week’s Vodacom Origins of Golf Western Cape which has moved him into third place on the Order of Merit delivered by The Courier Guy, and former South African Open champion Daniel van Tonder headline the field for this R2-million tournament.
The field this week includes three-time South African PGA Championship winner Jaco van Zyl, former top amateurs and now rookie professionals Aldrich Potgieter and Kyle de Beer, and the leading rookie on the Fortress Rookie of the Year standings, Gerhard Pepler, who claimed his maiden Sunshine Tour victory this season in the Gary and Vivienne Player Challenge.
There are also several players who in the past have come close to adding their names to the illustrious history of this event.
Pieter Moolman is back to try and win a title he lost to Dean Burmester in 2021, finishing runner-up on that occasion.
Trevor Fisher Jnr has twice finished second in this event, while Combrinck Smit was runner-up in 2018, Makhetha Mazibuko lost in a playoff with Erik van Rooyen in 2017, and Hennie Otto has also twice had to settle for a runners-up finish.
This is one of the most prestigious titles in the local game and has a list of past champions including Gary Player, Dale Hayes, John Bland, Tony Johnstone, Ernie Els, David Frost, Mark McNulty and Louis Oosthuizen.