JOHANNESBURG â€“ The new Blair Atholl Championship delivered by The Courier Guy will tee off a strong build-up to the main summer schedule of the Sunshine Tour as the Tourâ€™s finest professionals and two of the countryâ€™s leading amateurs gather at the prestigious Gary Player-designed golf course this week.
The R1Â 250Â 000 tournament begins on Thursday and finishes on Sunday, marking the first time that this iconic golf course designed by the legendary Black Knight will host a tournament on the Sunshine Tour.
The 72-hole tournament heralds the start of the build-up to the summer schedule that will culminate in the European Tour co-sanctioned tournaments at the end of this year.
Apart from the traditionally strong Sunshine Tour field taking part, the tournament will also feature South Africaâ€™s number one ranked amateur Christiaan Maas, and Christiaan Burke, a three-time winner on the GolfRSA amateur calendar in the past three months, who have both been granted invitations to compete.
â€œWeâ€™re very excited to welcome the Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate to our schedule, as well as The Courier Guy as the headline sponsor of this weekâ€™s tournament, and to be able to add to our schedule and give our professionals more playing opportunities as they prepare for the upcoming summer,â€ said Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour.
â€œWeâ€™ve been working hard with all concerned at Blair Atholl for many years now to finally bring a major Sunshine Tour event to a magnificent golf course built by Gary Player on what was his beloved farm for many years. Iâ€™m very proud that we have reached this milestone and thank all concerned for helping to make this dream a reality for us.â€
The Blair Atholl golf course has established itself as one of the finest creations in the impressive worldwide stable of Gary Player golf course designs. As one of the longest golf courses Player has ever designed, it promises to provide a stern test as a true championship layout.
â€œGary Player spent over 20 years planning and designing what is today an unparalleled golf course at the heart of an unparalleled living experience on our estate. It is an absolute privilege for us to now be able to welcome Southern Africaâ€™s professionals to our championship course, and weâ€™re very proud to take up our place on the calendar of the Sunshine Tour,â€ said Paul Marks, Director of Golf at Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate.
The tournament provides another vital playing opportunity for the Sunshine Tourâ€™s professionals and their caddies as the Tour continues with its growth strategy following the effects of the COVID-19 hard lockdown in 2020.
The Blair Atholl Championship delivered by The Courier Guy is now the fifth new tournament to be added to the Sunshine Tour schedule this year.
â€œThe Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate has always had an ethos for excellence that mirrors the life philosophy of Gary Player, and a part of this is an emphasis on our community. As such, this is a great opportunity for us to showcase not only what we believe is the premier lifestyle choice in Johannesburg, but to also help the continued growth of the Sunshine Tour,â€ said Trevor Payne, General Manager of Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate.
Gilbert Phalafala, Chairman of the Blair Atholl Homeowners Association, said: â€œThis is an exciting moment as we host a major professional golf tournament for the first time in our estateâ€™s history, and we are looking forward to showcasing our world-class golf course as well as our beautiful estate.â€