Cape Town - South African golfing legend Ernie Els has expressed his disappointment at three of South Africa's leading golfers missing this year's SA Open.
The four-time major champion spoke to the media leading up to the SA Open tournament and admitted that the absence of Branden Grace, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen is concerning.
Grace, Schwartzel and Oosthuizen have all decided to skip the national Open at Glendower Golf Club, which is scheduled to tee off on Thursday.
SA's highest-ranked golfer Grace will be playing at the Sony Open on Thursday, while Schwartzel and Oosthuizen have reportedly decided to not play for "personal reasons".
"As a supporter of the tournament, all I can say is it's very disappointing," said Els, as quoted by SuperSport.com.
"Most of these top guys aren't playing this week.
"We have to have a discussion with them to find out why they don't want to play or if it's a scheduling issue of some kind," said Els.
"It would be great to have all the top players here and we have to figure it out."
The SA Open, hosted by Els and his foundation, is headlined by world No 2 Rory McIlroy, who will be teeing off in his first event of the year.
McIlroy faces some stern competition with the likes of defending champion, Brandon Stone, and 2015 SA Open winner, Andy Sullivan.