By Brian Keogh
Fancourt Golf Estate. Credit: Sunshine Tour
The European Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour today jointly confirmed the postponement of the three co-sanctioned tournaments in South Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following thorough consultation with the medical teams from both Tours, it has been agreed to reschedule the three co-sanctioned events, that were due to take place in February, until later in the year.
The Sunshine Tour has postponed its 2021 schedule by one month in light of the current nationwide rise in COVID-19 cases and in support of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for all South Africans to work together to help curb the spread of the virus.
Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, announced on Wednesday that the planned February start of the Sunshine Tour’s 2021 schedule has now been postponed until March this year.
The schedule will still begin with the new Kit Kat Group Pro-Am, which will now be played from 5-7 March, and will still include three consecutive tournaments co-sanctioned with the Challenge Tour.
The Challenge Tour’s “South African Swing” will begin in the week of 22-25 April. An announcement will be made shortly regarding this tournament and its venue. This will be followed by the Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 29 April – 2 May, and then the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt Golf Estate from 6-9 May.
The new dates and venues of the other tournaments on the schedule will be confirmed in due course.
Jamie Hodges, Head of Challenge Tour, said: “The decision to postpone these events follows consultation with all stakeholders and was made with the health and well-being of all players and staff as our absolute priority.
“I want to express our thanks to the Sunshine Tour, and each of the tournament venues, sponsors and stakeholders for their flexibility and understanding of this situation. We greatly appreciate our partnership with our friends at the Sunshine Tour and look forward to co-sanctioning the three events later this year.”
Sunshine Tour Commissioner Abt said: “In light of the current worldwide increase in COVID-19 cases and after consultation with our own health experts and GolfRSA and its Risk Mitigation Strategy, we believe it is the most responsible course of action to postpone these tournaments.
“The safety of our members as well as our staff is our primary concern. I’d like to thank the Challenge Tour as well as our own Sunshine Tour Board of Directors and sponsors for their guidance, patience and understanding amidst what remains a very fluid situation for world golf.”