The Joburg Open marks the 50th time the Sunshine Tour and the European Tour have co-sanctioned a tournament in South Africa, and the significance of the occasion was marked by the presence of European Tour chief executive George O’Grady.
He and Sunshine Tour chief executive Grant Wilson were on the first tee of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s East Course to see the contenders for the Â1.3-million Joburg Open on their way.
The Joburg Open is one of six tournaments co-sanctioned by the two tours – by far the largest number in any single country, and it is an event which has catapulted two South African players to stellar years – Charl Schwartzel went on to win the Masters after taking the title in 2010, and Branden Grace launched an amazing 2012 off the back of his maiden European Tour victory at the East Course.
And 2009 winner Anders Hansen of Denmark used the victory to cement his spot at the top of the Sunshine Tour’s Order of Merit that year.
The Sunshine Tour and the European Tour move on to East London on South Africa’s south-eastern coast for the next co-sanctioned event, the Africa Open which tees off on February 14 – a good date to celebrate a good relationship!