A step forward for global golf: European Tour, Sunshine Tour partner to elevate game in South Africa

·2 min read

The European Tour and the Sunshine Tour have formed a new partnership that should not only elevate golf in South Africa but recognize its contributions to global golf. The European Tour announced that it is committed to improving the existing international pathway between the two Tours by co-sanctioning the South African Open through 2025, continuing to stage three Challenge Tour events in South Africa and creating several new co-sanctioned events that will appear on both the Challenge and Sunshine Tour schedules.

“For many years the European Tour has greatly valued the relationship we have enjoyed with the Sunshine Tour and today’s announcement is the next step in that journey together,” Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said in a release.

“Through the leadership, vision and commitment of Chairman Johann Rupert, the Sunshine Tour has not only flourished and produced many of the game’s greats over decades, it is also part of the ecosystem that is at the very core of professional golf. We have been proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Sunshine Tour on this pathway for over a quarter of a century and we very much look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.”

The first event co-sanctioned by the European and Sunshine Tours, the Lexington South African PGA Championship, was played in February 1995. A familiar name, Ernie Els, took home the trophy that week. Since then, the two tours have combined close to 100 times.

South Africa ranks fourth on the list of most successful nations in European Tour history, behind only England, the U.S. and Spain. Several major winners have South African roots – not only Els but Retief Goosen, Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Trevor Immelman and of course Gary Player.

The move drew support from the PGA Tour, the European Tour’s Strategic Alliance Partner.

“We are thrilled to see these two leading golf organizations come together for the benefit of the global game, players and fans,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “The European Tour and Sunshine Tour each have rich histories, celebrated events and a proven record of developing some of the world’s best players. This new partnership further illustrates the strengthening ecosystem of professional golf that we have all worked together to build for the betterment of the game.”

Related

Security! Fan strolls onto tee, grabs Rory McIlroy's headcover, iron at abrdn Scottish Open

Scottish Open: Connor Syme's head not turned despite lure of Open Championship place