Oliver Bekker, South Africa’s latest DP World Tour star, has confirmed his place in this month’s Joburg Open and believes the tournament will help to open doors for even more South Africans to become household names in European golf within the next five years.
Bekker is back on local fairways following a successful debut season on the DP World Tour in which he had eight top-10s and a runner-up finish in the Catalunya Championship as he has climbed into 33rd place on the DP World Tour Rankings. His focus is now on a strong run of Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournaments in South Africa, beginning with the Joburg Open at Houghton Golf Club from November 24-27, 2022.
At various levels of South African professional golf the Joburg Open has provided a strong sense of opportunity for the country’s golfers and their global aspirations, while at the same time also helping to transform the South African golf landscape through its support of historically disadvantaged professionals competing in this event.
Thriston Lawrence claimed his maiden DP World Tour victory in the 2021 Joburg Open and went on to win a second title on the Omega European Masters this year as well as play in his first Major in the 150thOpen in St Andrews. And Dylan Naidoo, who has played in the Joburg Open since he was an amateur and is a member of the Sunshine Tour’s Papwa Sewgolum Class for historically disadvantaged golfers, will return to the tournament this year as a true inspiration after breaking through with his maiden Sunshine Tour victory in the SunBet Challenge Sun Sibaya this year.
It all points to what Bekker believes is the foundation for a wave of new talent busy emerging from South Africa.
“I’ve always believed that with our DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournaments, and then the added Challenge Tour co-sanctioned tournaments, that we’re going to have a lot of South Africans making it onto the DP World Tour. We’re going to make an impact over there. We’ve got so much talent in this country and you just need the opportunity to get there, and for that door to open and to get that chance to get in there. I’m sure a lot of our players will stay on the DP World Tour for a very long time, and that we’ll also see a lot of South Africans coming through in the next five years that will be household names in Europe for a long time to come. It’s good to see the South African players making their presence felt on the DP World Tour. It’s exciting,” said Bekker.
Tickets for the Joburg Open are available at https://sunshinetour.com/.