The secondary local golf tour, the Big Easy Tour, launched its second tournament at Houghton Golf Club — coinciding with the start of the first event on Tuesday.
The tour, named after three-time major winner Ernie Els, will see 10 events played in the season, the same format as the previous year.
The events will be contested over 36 holes apart from the finale, the Tour Championship, which will take place over 54 holes.
The top 30 players on the money list will be exempt for the final tournament and will compete for a purse of R250 000 as opposed to R100 000 for the regular events.
The tour is used as an opportunity to groom players for the more competitive Sunshine Tour.
“Last year was a huge success,” said Grant Wilson, Sunshine Tour chief operating officer.
“It’s shown by the emergence of players like Ockie Strydom, Lyle Rowe, Dean Burmester and Morne Buys from its ranks and onto the leader boards of many of the Sunshine Tour’s biggest events recently.”
Players who received their cards at the 2012 Sunshine Tour qualifying school, and players who won their playing privileges at the Vusi Ngubeni qualifying school are eligible to play on the tour, as are those who finished 71st to 137th on the 2011 Sunshine Tour order of merit.
In addition, winners of the Big Easy tournaments last year and the top 30 on the order of merit, are all exempt. — Sapa