New event for Sunshine tour

2012-10-22 18:30

Johannesburg - An exciting new golf tournament was on Monday launched at the Houghton Golf Course which is set to become a prominent feature on the Sunshine Tour.

With a prize pool of R6m the four day limited field tournament, to be called the Investec Cup, will officially mark the end of the Sunshine Tour’s summer calendar in 2013.

Professionals, both local and international, wanting to compete in the Investec Cup have the challenging task of having to qualify for the tournament next March, through playing in one of a series of 13 tournaments on the Sunshine Tour’s summer calendar and finishing with a large enough total of points that are on offer at each event to finish among the top 30 who will qualify. 

The BMG Classic, which took place from 19 - 21 October at Glendower Golf Club, will also be one of the qualifying tournaments. Being a limited-field event, it had a total of 1 000 points on offer with 130 going to the winner. Full-field Sunshine Tour events will have 3 000 points on offer with 250 to the winner, while each of the six European Tour co-sanctioned events to be played in South Africa over the summer will have 3 500 points on offer with 330 going to the winner. The Investec Cup will have a staggering 6 500 points on offer with 500 points being awarded to the winner.

It will be contested by the 30 professional golfers who accumulate the most points with the second half of the field consisting of 30 amateurs invited for the first three days of the event. The amateurs will partner a different professional for each of the first three days, while the final day of the tournament will be contested by professional golfers only.

Another twist which is bound to whet the appetites of the professionals and invited amateurs was the announcement that the tournament will be held at three different courses namely Millvale Private Retreat, Rustenburg Golf Club and the Lost City Golf Course.

The Investec Cup, given the structure of the tournament, and the qualifying criteria in place, will not be seen as a once off event and will have a presence across the 13 tournaments in the six months leading up to the March event.

Investec CEO Stephen Koseff said Investec had been looking to extend its involvement into South African sport for some time.

“From sponsorships of individuals to tournament sponsorships, we are delighted to add to our portfolio our own tournament. This event is unique in its format and will no doubt up the sport to another level both in terms of the prize money offered and the competitiveness that the prize money will bring with it. We wish our clients and the professional  golfers all the very best of luck for qualifying.”

“The Investec Cup allows us to develop and showcase South Africa’s existing golfing talent, whilst providing us with an opportunity to engage with our clients. It fulfils all our criteria and is a fitting extension to our sports sponsorships,” he said.

South Africa has a wealth of talented professional golfers, both established and up-and-coming, who are and have been making headlines both locally and abroad and Investec’s latest sponsorship is expected to expand the influence, growth and development of South African golf.

Selwyn Nathan, Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour, said he was pleased that Investec chose to invest in a new local tournament. “The chase to the Investec Cup is a fantastic competition for our tour professionals, both local and international, that offers lucrative prize money as an incentive, as well as the opportunity to network with fellow golfers and invited guests. Ultimately it will heighten the sense of camaraderie in the golf community.”

Tour professionals, both local and international, have to play in any of the following 13 tournaments, all of which will have points on offer, in order to qualify:

19 - 21 Oct - BMG Classic
25 - 27 Oct - Sun Coast Classic
30 Oct - 4 Nov - ISPS Handa South African Match Play Championship
6 - 8 Nov - Nedbank Affinity Cup
15 - 18 Nov - South African Open Championship
22 - 25 Nov - Cape Town Open
6 - 9 Dec - Nelson Mandela Championship
13 - 16 Dec - Alfred Dunhill Championship
7 - 10 Feb - Joburg Open
14 - 17 Feb - Africa Open
21 - 24 Feb - Dimension Data Pro-Am
28 Feb - 3 Mar - Tshwane Open
14 - 17 Mar - Telkom PGA Championship