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Ken Borland

SA Open has a great friend of golf & a new venue on board 0

Posted on June 15, 2022 by Ken

The South African Open has an exciting new venue in Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate and a long-term sponsor in Investec, a great friend of the Sunshine Tour, as the second-oldest national open in the world unveiled the details of the 2022 event.

The 112th edition of the SA Open will be held in early December, with the exact dates still being negotiated with the DP World Tour, and Investec will be title sponsors for the next four years, putting up a minimum prize fund of $1.5 million this year. The financial services company are now the patrons of both men’s and women’s national opens, over and above their support of four leading female professionals and the Sunshine Tour Transformation Class.

Blair Atholl, north of Johannesburg, is the former farm of Gary Player, who won the SA Open a record 13 times, and he designed the course which, at 7527 metres is one of the longest in the world. Water features on 11 of the holes and its closing stretch is considered particularly tough.

“It’s very exciting that the SA Open is back on the DP World Tour schedule after taking a big hit last year because of the pandemic and the world shutting South Africa down,” Sunshine Tour commissioner Thomas Abt told The Citizen on Monday.

“The second-oldest national open deserves to be on the DP World Tour and it’s very exciting to have Investec on board, their investment in golf is very positive.

“Blair Atholl is a new venue, but it has prestige, history and heritage. We had the Blair Atholl Championship there last year and they have an eagerness to bring the tournament there and show what they can do.

“It’s a wonderful layout, a big course and there is lots of space for spectators and activations. Investec’s slogan is ‘Out of the Ordinary’ and they wanted to change it up and do something that is not the norm,” Abt said.

Last year’s SA Open was only a Sunshine Tour event, with Danie van Tonder triumphing at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City.

Blair Atholl certainly passed its test as a venue for professional golf last October, a blustery, shifting wind blowing between the rocky hills of the Magaliesburg and through the Crocodile River Valley to add to the challenge. Apart from its sheer length, the layout requires long and accurate shots and precise game-management.

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