The opening golf tournament of the 2012/2013 European Tour season, will be in honour of former president Nelson Mandela and will be hosted by the Sunshine Tour. The Nelson Mandela Championship, launched at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, will have a total purse of €1 million.
The field of 156 professionals will be made up of equal numbers from both the Sunshine and European Tours and will feature some of the world’s leading and up-and-coming professional golfers. It will take place from December 6-9 the sixth to at a venue still to be confirmed.
Negotiations are taking place in KwaZulu-Natal and Nelson Mandela Bay for the hosting of the event.
Executive director of the Sunshine Tour, Selwyn Nathan, says: “It will be held either at Royal Durban Country Club or Humewood Golf Club.”
“It will be held either at Royal Durban Country Club or Humewood Golf Club.”
The 72 hole tournament, according to the organisers, would be the first on the 2013 European Tour schedule, forming part of the Race to Dubai – the season long moneylist.
It would be played the week after the Nedbank Golf Challenge, around the second week of December.
Half the field, as per all co-sanctioned Sunshine and European Tour events, would be exempt for the tournament, allowing around 70 local players to tee it up.
“We’re hoping to tie up a deal that is a minimum of three years,” Nathan said. – Additional reporting by Sapa