Africa Open receives boost

2011-01-10 17:52
Johannesburg - The Eastern Cape government has pledged to sponsor golf's African Open for the next five years, it said in a statement on Monday.

"There is a growing interest within all sectors of the community around this tournament," said finance, economic development and environmental affairs MEC Mcebisi Jonas.

"The Africa Open forms part of our drive to promote the province globally, and create a greater awareness of the treasures here," he said.

"The numbers coming to the Eastern Cape because of this tournament are a huge benefit, so we are committed to the event for the next five years."

The Open was won on Sunday by South African Louis Oosthuizen who carded a 16-under 276 (70, 67, 69, 70) to edge out England's Chris Wood and Spain's Manuel Quiros by a single shot.

The Eastern Cape government declared the tournament a major success in the drive to promote the province globally.

The Africa Open forms part of the European Tour's international schedule, and brings with it 156 professional golfers from around the world, many of them accompanied by their families and friends.

It is estimated that in 2011, the event created more than 300 jobs, ranging from caddies to drivers for the courtesy vehicles.

In 2010, the global gross international media value of the event was said to be more than USD10 million (about R68.76m), including live television coverage, delayed coverage, news coverage and highlights packages in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Locally, the brand exposure in 2010 was reportedly worth just over R25 million.

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