The Sunshine TourÂs Âsummer swingÂ is set to tee off with a brand new tournament after the R2-million ISPS HANDA South African Match Play Championship was announced at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton today.
The event will take place from 29 October to 4 November at Zwartkop Country Club, and will bring the match play format back onto the Sunshine Tour for the first time since the 1990s.
The International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS) is a ÂGeneral Incorporated AssociationÂ based in Tokyo, and was founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world. ISPS and Dr Handa have fostered partnerships with golfÂs governing bodies worldwide and have been a proud sponsor of professional tournaments around the world Â including the recent ISPS Handa Wales Open on the European Tour. ISPS and Dr Handa are committed to raising the profile of blind and disabled golf throughout the world, with the ultimate ambition for golf to become a Paralympic sport.
Ms Midori Miyazaki, executive director international affairs of ISPS said, ÂWe are delighted to be involved with the Sunshine Tour, and are looking forward to the ISPS Handa South African Match Play Championship. Both menÂs and womenÂs professional golf around the world has provided an excellent platform to promote blind and disabled golf and we know that this event with the Sunshine Tour will further our goal for golf to get into the Paralympics.Â
Sunshine Tour executive director Selwyn Nathan said, ÂWe are thrilled that the Sunshine Tour has a match play event on the schedule again. Match play is such an exciting format, and many players donÂt often get the chance to encounter it in tournament play once they turn professional. We are very honoured that Dr Handa and ISPS have chosen to support the Sunshine Tour and use this event as a platform to spread the message of the great work that they are doing in golf around the world.Â
The tournament will have a unique addition to it as it will include a concurrent disabled match play competition played by golfers from the South African Disabled Golf Association. The 16-man field for that event will include a number of players from the ISPS supported On Course Foundation, which gives members of the British Armed Forces who have been seriously injured the opportunity to play golf and be employed within the golf industry
Eugene Vorster of the SA Disabled Golf Association said, ÂThis is a very exciting opportunity for disabled golf and is a wonderful platform to highlight disabled golf in South Africa as well as the skills of our players.Â
The ISPS HANDA South African Match Play Championship also represents the first golf sponsorship venture for the Clinix Health Group, which will be a co-sponsor of the event. Group founder and director Dr Peter Matseke said, ÂGolf has proved to be an extremely efficient vehicle for sponsors and we are looking forward to joining forces with the Sunshine Tour and the finest professional golfers in South Africa in order to help build our brand and continue to grow our business, which is focused around our eight private hospitals situated mainly around previously disadvantaged areas in South Africa.Â
The ISPS HANDA South African Match Play Championship is a full-field event, played over seven rounds of knock-out golf, with the final to be played over 18 holes on Sunday 4 November.