SA Open to tee off in December

The South African Open golf tournament will take place at Pearl Valley Golf Estates outside Paarl in the Western Cape from December 17 to 20.

Sunshine Tour commissioner Gareth Tindal has confirmed the dates for the four big summer events of the 2009 and 2010 tournament schedule in South Africa, and, as expected, there are now four events on the Sunshine Tour calendar which will be co-sanctioned by the European Tour.

The first of those events will be the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, Mpumalanga, which will be played from December 10 to 13. Defending champion at that event is Richard Sterne.

That will be followed by the SA Open a week later. Last year’s event also saw Sterne win, defeating Northern Ireland’s Gareth Maybin in a sudden-death playoff.
But there will be more attention focussed on Maybin’s countryman Rory McIlroy, should he return to the event in which he finished tied for third with Ernie Els and Lee Westwood.

The Africa Open has become the Sunshine Tour’s fourth co-sanctioned event, and that moves to an early January date: It will take place at East London Golf Club from January 7 to 10 in 2010, and the defending champion is Retief Goosen.

Dane Anders Hansen is the current champion of the Jo’burg Open, which will take place in 2010 at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club from January 14 to 17.—Sapa

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