Pro golfers prepare to tee it up as Sunshine Tour gets green light

Sunshine Tour commissioner Selwyn Nathan. Picture: Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images

Amateur local golfers were set free from the chains of the Covid-19 lockdown seven weeks ago, and now the professionals look set to return to work in a bio-bubble in three weeks’ time.

The Sunshine Tour is provisionally scheduled to resume on August 19, organisers confirmed on Friday, and tournaments will initially be restricted to the Johannesburg area.

It was hoped this latest development would set off a chain reaction for the Nedbank Golf Challenge to be able to take place as scheduled in early December, in order to crown a tumultuous year, followed by the South African Open in January.

“We’re hoping to get the professionals started again around August 19, but we’ll make a final decision next week once all the medical regulations have been gazetted,” said Sunshine Tour commissioner Selwyn Nathan.

“The IGT Tour and the Big Easy Tour will also hopefully get underway by the end of the month.

“At the moment the Sunshine Tour can only be played in Johannesburg.”

Killarney Country Club would be the first to host a tournament since the sport was suspended under government lockdown regulations, and the Sunshine Tour was hoping to stage five events over seven weeks.

There would be a two-week break after the first three tournaments to allow for anyone who tested positive for Covid-19 to quarantine and potentially be able to play in the last two events.

Each tournament would be held from Wednesday to Friday to allow golf clubs to be open for amateurs over the weekends, allowing them to make valuable revenue.

Golfers from all over the country would be allowed to take part in the series, but they would be responsible for logging their own health checks for 14 days before each tournament and would also be responsible for their caddies and all risk mitigation arrangements for them.

Three sponsors had apparently already lined up for the first batch of tournaments and the mini-tour would be streamed live across both Sunshine Tour and DStv platforms.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.





today in print