SIL­VER SALVER’S PROUD HIS­TORY

New 72-hole event of­fers world rank­ing points.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Amateur Scene -

The Gaut­eng North Sil­ver Salver will be a World Am­a­teur Golf Rank­ing event for the rst time when it is con­tested at Irene Coun­try Club from Oc­to­ber 19 to 21. South Africa’s No 1-ranked am­a­teur,Wilco Nien­aber, will be de­fend­ing.

The 54th edi­tion of the Sil­ver Salver, thanks to spon­sor­ship from Price­wa­ter­house­Coop­ers, has evolved from an in­vi­ta­tional 36-holer played on the same day to a 72-hole cham­pi­onship con­tested over three days.The rst 72hole Sil­ver Salver was held last year, but a Modi ed Stable­ford for­mat meant it was not granted world rank­ing points, although it was a GolfRSA rank­ing event. This year it is stroke­play.

The Sil­ver Salver is one of the union’s old­est and most pres­ti­gious events, rst played at Zwartkop CC in 1964 when it was won by a star from that era, the late Dave Sy­mons, a mem­ber of the SA Golf Hall of Fame.The hon­our roll of cham­pi­ons in­cludes such lu­mi­nar­ies as Hugh Baioc­chi, John Fourie, Neville Sun­del­son, Ga­van Leven­son, David Strat­ton, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Louis Oosthuizen, Haydn Por­te­ous and Zan­der Lombard.

The player with the most ti­tles (three) is for­mer North­ern Transvaal stal­wart Ge­orge Schwartzel, fa­ther of Masters cham­pion Charl, who won for the rst time in 1972, and again in 1982-83.Win­ners re­ceive a replica of the Sil­ver Salver in the form of an en­graved sil­ver ash­tray.

Orig­i­nally the tour­na­ment was played at a di er­ent course each year, be­fore later being hosted by the club where the golf union had its o ce, rst Pre­to­ria CC, and now Irene CC.

David Freed­man, a for­mer pres­i­dent of the North­ern Transvaal Golf Sub-Union, and mem­ber at Win­gate Park, pro­posed the cre­ation of an in­vi­ta­tional gross medal tour­na­ment sim­i­lar to the Royal Jo­han­nes­burg Sil­ver Vase. It was lim­ited to 72 play­ers for the rst ve years, with 36 con­test­ing the Sil­ver Salver, and an­other 36 a sep­a­rate nett medal com­pe­ti­tion with no hand­i­cap limit. Min­utes from 1963 record that “play­ers will be ex­pected to meet all their own trav­el­ling and per­sonal ex­penses in­clud­ing cad­die fees and tips. The union will to the ex­tent of R100 per com­pe­ti­tion meet the fol­low­ing ex­penses: re­fresh­ments at half­way house, lunch, and prize­giv­ing drinks and snacks.”

The top am­a­teurs sup­ported the new tour­na­ment, and the eld grew to between 60 and 70 gross com­peti­tors dur­ing the 1970s and 1980s.This year it will have a full eld of 144. Only one year, 1980, has it not been played.

The tour­na­ment also pays trib­ute to for­mer North­ern Transvaal and Gaut­eng North pres­i­dents, who are in­vited to a nal day lunch along with the cur­rent pres­i­dents of North­ern unions Cen­tral Gaut­eng, North West, Mpumalanga and Lim­popo.

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