JOHANNESBURG (Gauteng) – When JC Ritchie won the 2022 Jonsson Workwear Open as a European Challenge Tour event, Jonsson Workwear Chief Executive Nick Jonsson took him aside on the 18th green and said, “Let us know how we can help you. We must help you”. It was a moment that reflected exactly the ethos of a company that this week is celebrating the elevated status of its tournament to a Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned event.
A bigger stage means even greater opportunity for especially the South African professionals competing this week, with the first round teeing off at The Club at Steyn City on Thursday. Ritchie’s victory last year played a key role in him ultimately earning a full DP World Tour card by the end of the year, and this week could be just as life-changing for another South African professional.
That’s exactly the kind of journey Nick Jonsson and his company want to support.
“As a South African brand sport is part of our life. We started off modestly with a club rugby sponsorship and slowly grew from there, and now we’re into golf. We’ve long had a dream of being involved in golf sponsorship in some way or another and we’re delighted to have made it happen with the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour,” Jonsson said at the official pro-am for this week’s tournament on Wednesday.
“We find sport a really worthwhile medium. We’re currently on the back of the Cell C Sharks’ shirt, the Emirates Lions’ shirt and the SuperSport United shirt. To now be involved with a DP World Tour event is the cherry on top as far as golf is concerned and we’re thrilled.”
Jonsson’s personal passion stretches beyond just sponsoring a week of world-class international golf, and to the role his company can play in supporting an individual’s journey.
“Successful businesses have a responsibility to the communities around them. Wherever we go we want to help people realise their dreams, whether they are people who work in our factories or people who win a golf tournament we sponsor. We feel a responsibility always to try and be helpful to people and help them along in life. More and more businesses need to realise their responsibilities in the community.”
The golf clinic earlier in the week set the tone for this vision as a host of young golfers spent time with Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour professionals Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Dale Whitnell, James Hart du Preez, Martin Vorster and Stefan Wears-Taylor in a bid to not only improve their games, but to also inspire them on their own journey in golf.
“If people hadn’t helped me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. A lot of people took a chance on me and without that I wouldn’t be standing here sponsoring this wonderful event,” said Jonsson. – Michael Vlismas