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JOBURG OPENS SPONSORSHIP SLOTS TO DIVERSIFY FIELD OF PLAY

The City has expended enormous resources and created opportunities to diversify the field of play in the one-million-euro Joburg Open International Golf Tournament, enabling nascent golfers to compete against professionals.

Bongi Mokaba, the City’s Director of Events Management says the Joburg Open takes pride in being a tournament that gives golfers from all levels of society an opportunity to gain exposure.

“These are opportunities created to establish further diversity in the sport, which is intended to make golf more accessible to those previously marginalised,” Mokaba explains.

She says the municipality is committed to creating opportunities for the promotion and development of golf in Johannesburg to dispel myths about elitism in the sport.

This year, Joburg’s premier golf showpiece has extended a sponsors’ invitation to about four professional golfers to enable them to participate in the annual tournament.

The sponsorship invitation forms part of a development programme aimed at fostering equal opportunities for avid golfers of colour.

Mokaba says the sponsor’s invitation is designed to afford players with low rankings a platform to participate in a legitimate, professional competition and improve their prospects of becoming mainstream golfers.

The first sponsor’s invitee is Jordan Duminy (20), a representative of the Pinnacle Point Golf Club in Mossel Bay. Duminy had a good start on his first tee on the opening day, finishing one over par (+1). He also made a few birdies on the first few holes, including one on number 18.

After his first game, the coastline golfer said he finds this year’s tournament to be challenging, and he is looking forward to doing even better before the grand cut-off at the weekend.

“I am very excited and grateful to be granted this opportunity to participate in this year’s edition of the Joburg Open.” Duminy turned pro at the age of 19 and sees a bright future ahead.

Madalitso Muthiya (39), Siyanda Mwandla (28) and Nikhil Rama (21) are the three other players to whom the City extended a sponsor’s invitation.

Heinrich Bruiners (35), a former sponsor’s invitee, returned to the tournament this year after qualifying. This year marks his 10th Joburg Open. He has delivered promising results over the years, and in 2014, he made the cut.

Bruiners completed his first round at par 71 and hopes to play a great tournament.

“I’m just happy I had a decent start,” he said, expressing his gratitude to all the sponsors on board.

Players who make the cut over the weekend will proceed to the third round on Saturday, 26 November, and the winner of the tournament will be announced on Sunday, 27 November.

The prestigious four-day Joburg Open International Golf Tournament is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the DP World Tour. Play continues at the Houghton Golf Club in northern Joburg.

INFO SUPPLIED.

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