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13th December 2023

La Réserve Golf Links a unique challenge for AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open field

Both Louis Oosthuizen, the co-designer of La Réserve Golf Links, and Marcel Siem, one of the few professionals to have played it before it hosts this week’s AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, have predicted that the newest golf course on the island will demand a variety of shots from the golfers gathered for the seventh edition of this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour event.

In working with renowned golf course architect Peter Matkovich to create this magnificent links-style course, Oosthuizen said he wanted to bring back an element to the professional game he is passionate about.

“I love links golf because I believe in shot-making and I feel there should be more than one way to play a golf course. With links-style golf you’ve got to see the shot, and sometimes it’s not the prettiest shot but it’s the one that will work for you on that particular hole – a lot of shaping and just feeling your way around the golf course. I think in today’s game where it’s often about tee it up and hit it as far as you can, a course like this with the wind here hopefully brings a bit more skill into the game,” he said.

Having played the golf course more than most before this week, Siem concurred that this is exactly what La Réserve Golf Links will demand from the field.

“They’ve done a fantastic job with this golf course,” said Siem, an ambassador of Heritage Golf Club who now lives on the island of Mauritius.

“It will be a tough test. I hope the wind will blow as usual in Mauritius. You have to hit some good shots here, especially when the wind blows. The wind comes off the left most of the time, about 11 or 12 of the holes, so it’s made for a draw player. The fairways and greens are really good, and there are some really tough holes out here.”

The new golf course adds significantly to an AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open that has once again drawn a quality field, including defending champion Antoine Rozner.

“You can’t beat this. It’s just an absolute pleasure to come back here every year. I love the atmosphere in Mauritius and I love the golf courses,” said the Frenchman, whose victory in this event last December led to a memorable rest of the season where he achieved his best finish in a Major of tied 20th in The Open after playing his way into the top five going into the final round.

“My experience of The Open was huge for me. I think that is going to help me a lot for the next chapter of my career. The Majors would be the next step for me, for sure.”

Fellow Frenchman Mattieu Pavon returns to a tournament where he’s also had good finishes, and with the renewed confidence of claiming his first victory on the DP World Tour last season.

“It’s a great experience to come here every year. This is such a beautiful island with some great golf courses, and I think La Réserve Golf Links is very challenging with beautiful views.”

And former AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open champion Dylan Frittelli is back at a tournament that sparked bigger things in his own career.

“My win here in 2017 was huge. I’d played one season on the DP World Tour when I won this event and it propelled me to getting a PGA Tour card the following year, and then I had my win there. Having progressed through the Sunshine Tour, which does a fantastic job with these co-sanctioned events with the DP World Tour, I really look back at this win as having given me those bigger dreams.”

To purchase tickets for the tournament please go to

The 2023 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open has once again drawn a glittering array of blue-chip sponsors, including AfrAsia Bank, Rogers Group, Rogers Hospitality, Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, IBL, Beachcomber Resorts and Hotels, Heritage Villas Valriche, Phoenix Beverages, Jacobs Coffee, Pro Carts, Mautourco, KOHLER, Häagen Dazs and Oxenham.

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22nd November 2023

New dad Bezuidenhout chasing Joburg Open glory

Christiaan Bezuidenhout has returned home with an even stronger desire to win this week’s Joburg Open as he now plays for something bigger than just his own career.

Bezuidenhout became a father for the first time three weeks ago, and this marks the family’s first trip back to South Africa since then.

“We welcomed our son John about three weeks ago. It’s nice to be back in South Africa and to see friends and family again, and all the friendly faces on the Sunshine Tour as well,” he said.

Having already won the Investec South African Open and the Alfred Dunhill Championship, Bezuidenhout would love to add the Joburg Open to complete his list of Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned titles at this time of the year. Especially as one of South Africa’s international stars who always returns home to support his local Tour.

“It’s always nice to come back home and support the local events. It’s great that the Joburg Open can have such a strong field and that kind of support shown for the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour,” he said of this year’s field which includes eight former champions, as well as a tantalising mix of local professionals hoping to make their mark such as Karabo Mokoena, Tristin Galant, Yurav Premlall and Siyanda Mwandla.

Bezuidenhout came close in this tournament at Houghton last year when he finished tied third behind English champion Dan Bradbury. Bezuidenhout’s other top finishes in this event include tied 15th in 2020, tied 30th in 2017 and tied 22nd in 2016.

He brings with him a game which he is still busy refining, but where he will certainly feel comfortable in conditions very familiar to him.

“I’ve made a few changes in my team and started with a new coach about six months ago. I had to make quite a few changes in my swing to get a little more consistency in my ball striking, so I’m still working through a few things in my swing. But I always feel comfortable playing in South Africa, and knowing the weather and the grass and the style of courses here. I’ve always been a fan of Houghton Golf Club and the course looks the best I’ve ever seen it. I’m looking forward to a great week.”

Tickets for the Joburg Open are available at

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8th November 2023

American stars loving their South African safari

The American duo of Max Homa and Justin Thomas have already had their first experience of South African hospitality and the wildlife, and on Thursday they will tee it up in their first Nedbank Golf Challenge feeling equally excited about what’s to come over the next four days at Sun City.

Homa and Thomas are part of a stellar 66-man field gathered at the Gary Player Country Club for this year’s edition of ‘Africa’s Major’, and the two PGA Tour stars say they have been blown away by their experience of South Africa thus far.

“There has been a lot of kindness and a lot of smiles. People are saying thank you for coming to South Africa. I never thought that would be a common sentiment. Everyone is super excited for the golf tournament and it’s fun to be a part of that,” said Homa.

“When I was growing up, I watched this tournament and tons of DP World Tour events that I always wanted to play in. With the previous PGA Tour schedule it would be wild to try and do this. But now with a real off-season for us, I made it a point to play at least one over here. To be able to get a spot here and play has been a dream. You want to experience what golf at large has to offer and this has been a pretty special week so far.”

It’s a sentiment shared by Thomas.

“It’s been spectacular. I know what I’ve seen on TV (about South Africa), but you don’t know what to expect until you get here. It’s been great. We had an unbelievable little holiday prior to this week and everybody treated us so well. It’s a shame it’s so far away because my wife and I said we’d love to come here again. Everybody has treated us better than we deserve, I feel.

“It’s one thing running into fans in the States because there’s an opportunity they could see you again. But in South Africa, this is a chance that a lot of fans get to see Max Homa for the first time ever. I’m enjoying it. If we can come here and inspire people that’s a successful trip, and we’re fortunate to play in a great tournament on a great golf course while we’re doing it.”

The two golfers also enjoyed a memorable bush experience that they’re also struggling to put into words.

“The safari is life changing. I don’t know how I’m supposed to explain this to my friends and family. I would never do it justice,” said Homa.

“The safari is so hard to explain to people who haven’t done it. It’s just wild and you have even more respect for those animals,” added Thomas.

And Homa in particular is determined to reward the South African fans with his golf at Sun City this week.

“To win here would be amazing. You come do something new, and this is ‘Africa’s Major’. It’s a big deal to the players and to this entire country. You want to come over here and perform and put on a show, so getting a win here would be tremendous.”

Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

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16th October 2023

Scholtz enters Blue Label winner’s circle with Killarney triumph

Marcel Steyn Scholtz shrugged off a double-bogey on the 12th hole and marched to his maiden Tour victory in the Blue Label Development Tour’s one-day tournament held at Killarney Country Club on Monday.

He shot an inspired three-under-par 67 to claim a one-shot victory over the duo of Keegan McLachlan and Therion Nel to win his first tournament as a professional. Interestingly, Scholtz never played golf as a junior but began to take the sport seriously in 2017 when he was 23 years old. Before then, he was a rugby player at university.

“I am really stoked to have my first win as a professional,” said Scholtz after his round. “As a child growing up in Limpopo I used to dream of playing professional golf but I never I never had the opportunity to play as a youngster. I just played social golf.

“But, when I finished my degree I was in a good place mentally and physically and that’s when I thought I should take golf seriously. Today, I am happy I made that decision. For some this may be a small win but for me it’s huge because of where I come from. So, I want to say thank you to the Sunshine Tour and Blue Label for making these tournaments for us.”

En route to this memorable win at Killarney, Scholtz fired in a bogey-free 32 on the front nine of this par-70 layout. He made birdies on the second hole, the par-five fifth and the eighth holes to turn with an unblemished scorecard.

Then the round was suspended due to an approaching storm.

Coming home, the 29-year-old Highland Gate Golf and Trout Estate made another birdie on 11 but a double on the 12th threatened his progress. Scholtz steadied himself, making back-to-back pars in the next two holes. He found his groove again on the 15th, a par-five, and made further gains to finish his round on three-under 67 and go home victorious.

“I gave myself a lot of chances today,” he said. “This is a good golf course and you need to place it well off the tee. The approach shots are also very important here if you want to give yourself a chance on the greens. But the key for me was in and around the greens. I rolled in a few nice putts today and that was down to creating good opportunities for myself. That was my goal today; to create as many opportunities for myself and I did that well.

“A win is a win, no matter what tournament you are playing. For me, this win comes at the right time and I think it will give me confidence going into Wild Coast this week.”

Scholtz is in the field of the Sunshine Tour’s Wild Coast event this week and following his win in testing weather conditions, he will have every right to look forward to what that tournament brings.

“When the wind was up this morning, I played nicely and I was controlling the ball nicely,” Scholtz noted. “I was hitting good shots and shaping them the way I wanted. I think that is important at Wild Coast. The way you shape your shots and controlling your ball flight and the spin is very important because of the weather there. But, I will be ready and I am looking forward to going at it again.”

The Blue Label Development Tour is another Sunshine Tour initiative designed to afford players more playing opportunities.

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13th October 2022

European Ryder Cup Captain returns to Nedbank Golf Challenge

European Ryder Cup Captain Luke Donald has confirmed his participation in the milestone 40th anniversary edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The former World Number One will tee it up in ‘Africa’s Major’ from November 10 – 13, 2022, returning to Sun City’s Gary Player Country Club for the first time since December 2014.

Donald has appeared in the Nedbank Golf Challenge twice since it was included in the DP World Tour schedule in 2013, when the event opened the 2014 season, finishing 19th and following that up with a third place finish 12 months later.

The seven-time DP World Tour winner was named Ryder Cup Captain as Europe bid to win the trophy back from Zach Johnson’s United States side in Rome next September.

He joins a field that includes the defending champion and two-time Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood, who lifted the trophy in 2019 – the last time the event took place due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and South African DP World Tour winners Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Dean Burmester and Thriston Lawrence.

The Nedbank Golf Challenge has been a highlight of the South African sporting calendar since its first edition in 1981, with an impressive list of former winners that includes the legendary Seve Ballesteros, South African golfing icon Ernie Els and Major Champions such as Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Trevor Immelman and Danny Willett.

Donald said: “I’m delighted to be able to play the Nedbank Golf Challenge in this landmark year for the event. It’s such a unique tournament and I have fond memories of my past visits to Sun City.

“It certainly doesn’t seem like eight years since I last teed it up there, and I’m very much looking forward to returning, both as a player and in my capacity as Ryder Cup captain, as the season draws to a close.”

The 2022 Nedbank Golf Challenge will once again be included on the DP World Tour schedule in partnership with Nedbank and Sun International, this season as the penultimate event before the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The $6,000,000 will also carry an increased number of DP World Tour Ranking Points, with 7,000 points available.

The winner of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit will also receive a place in the 64-player field at Gary Player Country Club.

The last edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2019 delivered record attendance figures and sold-out hospitality. Ticketing information for the milestone 40th event will follow in due course.

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13th July 2022

Kingston triumphs on Legends Tour

Kingston headed into the final round following on from two blemish free rounds of 68 and 63 to secure the win ahead of former European Ryder Cup player Phillip Price and three-time Legends Tour winner David Shacklady.

Kingston secured his maiden Legends Tour win in November of last year at the Sergio Melpignano Senior Italian Open and also in July of last year at the WINSTONgolf Senior Open Invitational.

“It’s a great feeling,” Kingston said. “I feel like it was a tough week, I came into the week feeling like I was playing nicely I put myself in a good position in round one it was disappointing that I didn’t do any better and obviously yesterday I think that was the round that got me through the hole thing, I played great golf yesterday.

“Today, disappointed with a few mistakes that I made, putting wasn’t as great as I would have liked it to be, I felt a little under pressure, conditions weren’t easy which didn’t make it any easier and I played with two really good sportsmen Phillip (Phillip Price) and Shackers (David Shacklady) it was a great competitive round and we had a great time.

“Obviously delighted to be standing here as the champion.”

The 56-year-old has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure he can be in contention on the Legends Tour this year but admits having the sheer determination and belief helped him along the way.

“We work hard all year to try and put ourselves in these positions, and this week I put in the hours I did the work.

“I’m sad my family can’t be here to enjoy it with me but it’s just one of those things, I worked hard, in the end we pulled through with a bit of determination a bit of grit, but it all worked out fine in the end.” – Legends Tour.

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14th May 2022

Evergreen Horne targets Sunshine Tour title number 10

KLEINMOND, Western Cape – When Keith Horne won his first Sunshine Tour title in May 1998, Ernie Els was world number one, Tiger Woods was second and Davis Love III was in third place. On Sunday at the Arabella Country Estate, the 50-year-old Horne has the opportunity to win in an entirely new generation.

Horne signed for a second round of 68 in the Lombard Insurance Classic on Saturday, showing his intent early in the round when he opened with two straight birdies. His second consecutive 68 of the week lifted him to eight under par overall and into a three-stroke lead in this 54-hole tournament.

His nearest challengers are Rupert Kaminski and Louis Albertse on five under par, and both of whom were two years old when Horne claimed his maiden Sunshine Tour title. Kaminski worked his way into contention with a second round of 69 while Albertse signed for a 73.

One of the longstanding campaigners of South African golf is chasing a significant 10th title on the Sunshine Tour.

Horne has fond memories of Arabella having won a Vodacom Origins of Golf tournament here in 2017.

“I’m feeling good. My results haven’t been great of late and I was struggling a bit. But now that the overseas tours have opened up for me again after COVID-19, I’ve been working hard and it’s nice to see it paying off,” said Horne, who is relishing playing a golf course where he feels more competitive.

“We’ve been playing golf courses that are bombers’ paradises recently and I can’t compete against the youngsters anymore. It’s nice to play a stunning course like this that requires thought, where the greens are hard and fast, and where I don’t feel like I’m playing catch-up all the time. I can be competitive, and it’s inspiring me as well. It’s so nice to be back in a position to win again.” – Michael Vlismas

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19th April 2022

Altron Big Easy Tour a major boost for South African pro golf development

The Big Easy Tour, the official development tour of the Sunshine Tour, has announced that leading technology company Altron will be its new title sponsor as part of a substantial investment in the next generation of South African professional golf talent, including more tournaments and greater prize money.

The Altron Big Easy Tour will feature 10 tournaments in a schedule that will run from May to September, and which will also include record prize money for the final two tournaments of the season.

The prize money for each 36-hole tournament will be R150 000, which is an increase of R50 000 per tournament from the 2021 season. But the final two tournaments of the season – The Playoff and The Final to be played over 54 holes – will offer record prize money for the Tour of R250 000 and R300 000 respectively.

Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “We are delighted to announce this new era for the Altron Big Easy Tour which represents significant growth for our main development tour, and which offers incredible playing opportunities for those golfers wishing to graduate to the Sunshine Tour.”

“The Altron Big Easy Tour is the first step that an aspiring South African professional golfer will take on the global pathway that includes the Sunshine Tour and our associations with the Challenge Tour and DP World Tour.”

Matthew Klaas, Acting Managing Director of Altron Systems Integration, said: “As Altron we are passionate about our communities and the potential of all our people. We are, therefore, proud to be able to create the opportunity for a rising young South African professional golfer to be able to aspire to a place on the Sunshine Tour and a successful career in the game.”

The Playoff will feature the top 50 players on the Altron Big Easy Tour Order of Merit competing for R250 000 in prize money.

The top 30 players on the Order of Merit after The Playoff will qualify for The Final during which they will compete for R300 000 in prize money.

All of the tournaments will be played in Gauteng.

The Big Easy Tour was founded in 2011 with support from Ernie Els and counts current international star Christiaan Bezuidenhout amongst its former Order of Merit winners.

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29th January 2022

Committed Rohwer on track for Vodacom Origins glory

SUN CITY, North West – Shakespeare wrote it as, “To thine own self be true”. Martin Rohwer defines it “being 100% committed to every shot”. Now Rohwer, to continue to borrow from the bard, is well placed at the top of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final’s leaderboard going into Sunday’s final act of this Sunshine Tour event.

With rounds of 66 and 67, Rohwer heads the field on 11 under par and will take a four-shot lead into the last day at the Gary Player Country Club.

Alex Haindl remains a very real threat though as his nearest challenger on seven under par following his round of 70 on Saturday, and having won on this golf course as recently as last year’s SunBet Challenge.

But Rohwer does seem to be playing with a confidence in his process that will be hard to beat.

“I’m just staying committed to every shot I hit. I pick my targets and then commit 100% to that. I think that’s been the difference. My attitude has been really good. Even though I haven’t always been swinging it 100%, I’ve been 100% committed and focused,” said Rohwer.

It was a decision he and his coach came to early in January as they plotted the way forward in 2022.

“We looked at what my process will be each week, and we decided that as long as I am improving each week and I’m ticking all the boxes I want, that’s the most important thing. Win or lose.”

The process certainly seems to be working as he’s played two very different rounds of golf to lead this field.

“In the first round, my short game was really good and then in the second round I hit the ball a lot better from tee to green. This is a great golf course, and it’s one where if you can drive the ball well you can take advantage of it.”

Now all that remains for Rohwer is to right the final scene of a victory at Sun City on Sunday.

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Sunshine Tour welcomes back limited number of fans at tournaments 1

19th January 2022

American Longbella loving South Africa as he leads Q School

American Thomas Longbella retained his place at the top of the leaderboard after two rounds of the First Stage of the Sunshine Tour Qualifying School at Maccauvlei Golf Club on Tuesday, and seems to be benefitting from practising next to a Masters champion before the start of this event.

Longbella added another round of 67 to climb to 10 under par overall and two strokes clear of South African amateur Christopher Long, who posted a second round of 68. Austria’s Bernard Neumayer, South African Dean O’Riley and his amateur countryman Sean Cronje all finished the day on seven under par.

Longbella, who grew up in Wisconsin, says he’s loving the Maccauvlei layout which reminds him of the golf courses he played as a youngster. And without even knowing it, he says he believes he shared the driving range with the Maccauvlei master himself, Charl Schwartzel.

“Last Friday I was on the driving range hitting balls and there was just one other guy there, but he was kind of behind me a bit so I didn’t really get a good look at him. But I could just hear him absolutely flushing every single shot. Then I went out to play nine holes and my local caddie said to me, ‘Do you know who that was? It was Charl Schwartzel’. I had been really focused on my own warm-up so hadn’t really paid attention, but my caddie seemed pretty convinced it was Schwartzel,” said Longbella.

The American has loved his time in South Africa, and it’s certainly showed in his golf as he signed for a bogey-free round on Tuesday.

“It was a good day again today. I hit the ball much better than I did in the first round. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and I kept it in play off the tee. It’s been fun. This is the first time I’ve been across the Atlantic. I’ve been enjoying the monkeys on the course. I’ve never seen a wild monkey in my life and now every day I’m seeing these little guys running around. It’s been great. Everybody here has been so nice.”

The First Stage finishes on Thursday. Only the top 40 professionals and ties will progress to the Final Stage.