Nine previous champs in SA Open

2013 SA Open Championship: Day 4The 104th South African Open Championship which gets underway at Glendower Golf Club in the Ekurhuleni Aerotropolis on January 8 has attracted nine previous champions.

The most recent of them is defending champion Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark, who carded a bogey-free five-under-par 67 over the testing Glendower layout to finish on 19-under-par 269 for a two-stroke victory in the Sunshine Tour and European Tour co-sanctioned tournament over Jbe’ Kruger and 2011 SA Open champion Hennie Otto.

And the oldest of them is 57-year-old Charlie Bolling of the United States, who won at Royal Cape in 1983.

Sandwiched between them – in terms of time – is five-time champion Ernie Els, the big man from Germiston who is returning to the scene of his early days in golf in the Ekurhuleni area. He won in 1992, 1996, 1998, 2006 and 2010, with the first of those titles coming just up the road from Glendower at Houghton Golf Club.

The name that most fans would have forgotten will be that of Matthias Gronberg, the Swede who took the title in 2000 at Randpark with a closing 65 which gave him a six stroke edge over his closest pursuers.

Wayne Westner and Trevor Dodds, the former Namibian, are the other two ‘veterans’ in that list of nine players. Westner won in 1988 and 1991, while Dodds took the 1990 title.

The remaining three former champions are all of more recent vintage, with 2007 champion James Kingston the ‘elder statesman’ of the trio. Richard Sterne took the 2008 title at Pearl Valley in the Western Cape, while Otto’s emotional 2011 victory came at Serengeti in Ekurhuleni.

 

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