Golf 3.1.2018 07:59 am

Three Masters champs will light up the SA Open

Mike Weir will play at Glendower. Photo: Michael Vlismas Media.

Mike Weir will play at Glendower. Photo: Michael Vlismas Media.

A celebrity-packed field will be present next week at Glendower as the 2018 local golfing calendar tees off.

Former Masters champion Mike Weir will play in only his third tournament on South African fairways when he heads to Glendower Golf Club for the South African Open Championship this January.

Weir joins Trevor Immelman and Charl Schwartzel as the three former Masters champions in the field for the January 11-14 tournament.

The left-handed Canadian will make his third tournament appearance in South Africa after playing in the 2001 Nedbank Golf Challenge and 2003 Presidents Cup as a member of the International Team.

Weir said his close friendship with tournament player-host Ernie Els convinced him to play in the 107th edition of the second oldest national Open in golf.

“I’ve played in South Africa twice before and I’ve decided to come again because Ernie is a good friend. I want to support him and the event. Also, my game is feeling much better,” Weir said.

Weir said he also has great respect for the history of the South African Open.

“I know the tournament has a long history and many great names on the trophy, so it’s a title worth pursuing. I’m looking forward to it.”

In 2003 Weir became the first Canadian professional and first left-handed golfer to win the Masters.

He is a winner of eight PGA Tour titles and was also named one of Canada’s 100 Greatest Athletes of All Time.

The 107th edition of the tournament will feature one of its strongest local challenges in recent years as South Africa’s top professionals seek to return the title to home soil following the victory by England’s Graeme Storm in January 2017.

Els, Schwartzel and Immelman will be joined by fellow South African Major winner Retief Goosen as well as recent Nedbank Golf Challenge winner Branden Grace and fellow European Tour winners Dylan Frittelli, Brandon Stone, George Coetzee, Haydn Porteous, Dean Burmester and Darren Fichardt.

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