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Top golf players in action at Sunshine Tour

The current golfing greats are coming to the Waterberg.

The Limpopo Golf Championship, part of the Sunshine Tour, which is the main professional golf tour in South- Africa, is taking place at the Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate in Mookgophong from 4 to 6 April.

The defending champion, Ryan van Velzen, returns to the championship amidst a strong field. According to SP Nienaber, Golf Director at Euphoria, the top five in the tournament will tee off, along with several other well-known players.

“As this is the last tournament of the year, it is the last chance for players to fill up their scorecards,” he said.

Van Velzen made his Sunshine Tour breakthrough with a victory in this tournament -with its R2 million purse – at the Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate last year. This launched his career and he went on to win in the Bain’s Whisky Teams Challenge and the MediClinic Invitational Tournament. Van Velzen, the current leader on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, also challenged in several tournaments co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour and European Challenge Tour, according to the Sunshine Tour website.

The 2023-2024 tour is in its 53rd season since its conception in 1971.

The tranquil setting of the Bushveld golf course, according to the tour’s website, belies the challenging nature of the Annika Sorenstam golf course. It was designed with the preservation of the indigenous fauna and flora in mind.

The entries for this year’s event apparently are some of the strongest in the tournament’s history and include Thriston Lawrence, multiple DP World Tour winner and Zander Lombard, DP World Tour campaigner. Also on the course is Robin Williams, who is currently second on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, and who came close to a maiden victory on the DP World Tour this season.

Wilco Nienaber, Oliver Bekker, and Luca Filippi, who have all finished runner-up in this tournament in previous years, will also tee off over the weekend.

Heinrich Bruiners, who recently won the Stella Artois Players Championship and previously won at Euphoria, is also in attendance.

The 72-hole tournament offers free entry to spectators. It will also be broadcast live on SuperSport. According to the Sunshine Tour website, the event has invested more than R25 m back into the local economy through this event as well as a 35% investment of the tournament’s operational budget in local businesses.

The Euphoria Golf and Lifestyle Estate is owned by Sampada Private Equity, which also owns the Leeuwenhof Country Estate in Alma, cattle and strawberry farms through Sampada Agri as well as the recently opened Sampada Agri Meat and Retail Store and LiquorMolle liquor store in Modimolle. The building of an adjoining restaurant is in progress. Die Pos reported last year that the old Waterfront in Bela-Bela was bought by the company with plans for further development.

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