The 2021 Joburg Open will usher in the start of the Sunshine Tour and European Tourâ€™s major summer season in South African golf when the R17.5 million tournament is played at Randpark Golf Club from 25-28 November.
One of the City of Johannesburgâ€™s flagship sporting events will begin a three-week stretch of international golf tournaments in South Africa that will be followed by the South African Open Championship (December 2-5) and the Alfred Dunhill Championship (December 9-12).
Further to this, the Joburg Ladies Open has also been announced as a co-sanctioned tournament between the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the Ladies European Tour, with a prize fund of â‚¬250Â 000 and set to be played at Soweto Country Club from 3-5 March.
â€œThe Joburg Open has always been an important tournament to the City of Johannesburg because of the role it plays in showcasing the city to an international audience. I am delighted to be able to announce this yearâ€™s tournament which, now more than ever, is an important tool in our role as a city to continue to help stimulate the South African economy amidst the COVID-19 recovery,â€ said Matshidiso Mfikoe, the MMC for Finance for the City of Johannesburg.
â€œWe are delighted to also announce the Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club. The rebirth of Soweto Country Club and its hosting of a professional tournament of this stature has been a shining example of what golf can do to uplift our community.â€
Last Novemberâ€™s Joburg Open, won by Denmarkâ€™s Joachim B Hansen, was vital in stimulating the restart of the Sunshine Tour and South African professional golf following the hard lockdown. Hansenâ€™s four rounds in the 60s helped him to a two-shot victory over home favourite Wilco Nienaber.
This will be the 14th edition of a tournament that boasts a strong list of past champions including former Masters winner Charl Schwartzel, PGA Tour winner Branden Grace, and multiple European Tour winners George Coetzee, Richard Sterne and Darren Fichardt.
â€œWe are extremely pleased to announce the Joburg Open as the first tournament on our co-sanctioning schedule at the end of this year,â€ said Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour.
â€œIâ€™d like to the thank the City of Johannesburg for so graciously supporting us over the past several years. I would also like to pay tribute to the late Councillor Geoff Makhubo, the former Mayor of Johannesburg who sadly passed away. Councillor Makhubo was a very close friend of the Sunshine Tour and one of our greatest supporters who was passionate about seeing the Joburg Open succeed as a major international event for his city. Our thoughts will certainly be with him at this yearâ€™s tournament.
â€œWe are also very proud to announce the co-sanctioning of the Joburg Ladies Open with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and Ladies European Tour, and to continue the important work at Soweto Country Club and this golf clubâ€™s role in inspiring a whole new generation of golfers.â€
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: â€œThe City of Johannesburg has been a loyal partner to a Joburg Open tournament that has played a key role in our longstanding relationship with the Sunshine Tour. I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the City of Johannesburg, and also our condolences at the passing of Councillor Geoff Makhubo who was such a wonderful friend of this event over many years.â€
Alexandra Armas, Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour, said: â€œWe are delighted to add the Joburg Open to our 2022 schedule. Our sincere thanks to the authorities and the City of Johannesburg for supporting the womenâ€™s game. We have a longstanding relationship with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the addition of a new co-sanctioned event will strengthen our collaboration and will impact positively on participation and interest in the womenâ€™s game in South Africa.â€