SA Open no longer has sta­tus

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - The Gallery -

The golf­ing me­dia have been talk­ing up the “im­por­tance and his­tory” of the South African Open. How­ever, the re­al­ity is that de­spite this tour­na­ment hold­ing Euro­pean Tour sta­tus, only five of the 156 play­ers who com­peted at Glen­dower, all South African, were in the top 100 of the World Rank­ing. Charl Schwartzel was the high­est at No 31. Apart from him, the other play­ers fin­ish­ing in the top 10 held rank­ings of 149, 417, 1548, 486, 154, 439, 810, 435 and 411 re­spec­tively.

Far from be­ing of any im­por­tance, the Open has un­for­tu­nately be­come in- con­se­quen­tial de­spite its sta­tus. In or­der to give it any cred­i­bil­ity as a na­tional open, the Euro­pean and Sun­shine Tour need to reach agree­ment as re­gards the Ned­bank Chal­lenge, Al­fred Dun­hill Champs and SA Open be­ing run back-to-back in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber. It is clear that Euro­pean tour pro­fes­sion­als of any con­se­quence who par­tic­i­pate in ei­ther or both the for­mer tour­na­ments are quite rea­son­ably not pre­pared to com­mute back to South Africa for an­other tour­na­ment at the start of Jan­uary. If this can­not be achieved, the SA Open should be dropped from the Euro­pean Tour sched­ule. It sim­ply does not merit the €158 500 (R2.38-mil­lion) first prize, or the as­so­ci­ated world rank­ing points.

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