NO AFRICA OPEN THIS SUMMER
The Africa Open, played at East London Golf Club, will sadly not be part of the Sunshine Tour schedule this summer. One of the co-sanctioned events with the European Tour, it has been a happy hunting ground for the top South African players. The six past winners have been Trevor Fisher (above), Thomas Aiken, Darren Fichardt, Louis Oosthuizen (twice) and Charl Schwartzel. Buffalo City, the main sponsors, are no longer able to finance the tournament, despite having agreed a year ago to continue hosting it.
The fluctuating weakness of the rand against the dollar and euro this year has also forced the Sunshine Tour to reconsider the prizemoney position for the cosanctioned events. The prizemoney was always in euro, which meant that the rand value fluctuated from year to year. Fichardt, for instance, earned R1.89 million for winning the 2013 Africa Open, Aiken R2.37 million in 2014, and Fisher took home R2.19 million this year. With the rand easing against the euro, total prizemoney at the co-sanctioned events this summer, other than the Nedbank Challenge, will be fixed in rands.
There will still be five European Tour events here this summer, all part of the 2016 European Tour season. And the SA Open and Joburg will be played in consecutive weeks in January.