Photo: Chad Fanaroff
Sun International announced on Friday that the winner of the 2014 Lion of Africa Cape Town Open to be played from November 27-30 will receive direct entry into this year’s $6.5-million Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Confirming the windfall for a local tournament, Nedbank Golf Challenge Tournament Director Alastair Roper said the change in one of the criteria for eligibility for ‘Africa’s Major’ was brought about by the change of date for the South African Open Championship announced earlier in the day.
“One way into the tournament in its new 30-man format last year was to win the South African Open,” said Roper, “and that’s how 2013 SA Open champion Morten Orum Madsen got in.
“With the change in the Sunshine Tour schedule, the Cape Town Open has moved into the old SA Open slot, and I’m thrilled that we will be giving a form player from the Sunshine Tour a shot at competing with some of the best players in the world.”
The incentive will give players in the Cape Town Open extra motivation to perform well: Over and above the prize-money for the tournament and the Chase to the Investec Cup points up for grabs, the last-placed finisher in the Nedbank Golf Challenge takes home $100,000.
“It’s great for the tournament,” said Sunshine Tour Chief Operating Officer Grant Wilson, “because it will attract some players who might ordinarily choose to play elsewhere. And, thanks to Sun International’s and Nedbank’s generosity, there is every chance that a Sunshine Tour professional who has been working hard all year back home has a shot at playing in one of the biggest tournaments in the world.”
The two men who have won the Cape Town Open since its inception in 2012 are Jake Roos and Tjaart van der Walt (pictured above), and they, together with the form players from the home front on the Sunshine Tour, as well as some of the players who have been campaigning on the European Tour, will now have their eyes on the Nedbank Golf Challenge prize.