South African golfer Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images
The Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour on Friday announced the changes to the ongoing South African swing following the discovery of a new variant of coronavirus, B.1.1.529, in SA.
The British government announced new restrictions on travellers from South Africa on Thursday and followed on Friday by travel bans by several European Union countries.
The DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour, kicked off it’s 2022 season in South Africa this week at the Joburg Open with the SA Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship forming part of their ‘SA swing’.
In a joint statement, the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour confirmed that the Joburg Open currently under way at Randpark Golf Club will continue to go ahead and will now finish on Saturday to allow “non-South African resident players, caddies and tournament support staff return to their home countries”.
LEADERBOARD | Joburg Open – Round 2
The South African Open Championship set for the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City from 2-5 December will still go ahead as scheduled but will not be co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour.
“It will go ahead as a solely Sunshine Tour event with a prize fund of $500 000 (R8.1 million),” read its statement.
It’s the first time since 1996 that the South African Open will not be co-sanctioned by the European Tour.
Despite the change of schedule, the Sunshine Tour told Sport24 that 2 000 vaccinated fans will still be allowed to attend the ongoing Joburg Open and SA Open in Sun City.
Meanwhile, the Alfred Dunhill Championship, which was scheduled to take place at the famed Leopard Creek Country Club from 9-12 December, has been cancelled.
“After lengthy consultations with Alfred Dunhill, it has been cancelled due to the adverse effect the travel restrictions will have on the field.”
*Update: The DP World Tour confirmed that the Joburg Open will end on Saturday after 54 holes