South Africa’s leading golfers will seek rare honours in the car-crazy German city of Munich and cuddly American town of Cromwell this week.
A baker’s dozen of “Saffers” tee off in the BMW International in Munich tomorrow, and the list includes top “rebel” Louis Oosthuizen.
The country’s best-ranked player joins the European event after recently resigning from the U.S. PGA Tour over the controversy involving his attachment to the breakaway LIV series backed by Saudi Arabia, along with several other South Africans and internationals.
Oosthuizen and other LIV-linked players were allowed to play in last week’s U.S. Open in Brookline, Massachusetts, by the U.S. Golf Association rather than the PGA.
Oosthuizen’s many compatriots in Munich this week include Oliver Bekker, George Coetzee, Dean Burmester, Darren Fichardt and Thriston Lawrence.
The prize purse is €2 million (R33,6 million) and the last South African winner of the event was current Seniors Tour player Ernie Els in 2013.
PGA Travelers Champs
Five other South Africans will simultaneously tackle the PGA Travellers Champs in Cromwell, a relatively quiet place in Connecticut, U.S.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Dylan Frittelli, Garrick Higgo, Erik van Rooyen and Dawie van der Walt hunt for rewards in a tournament last won by a South African in 1994, David Frost.
The prize fund is $8,3 million (R132 million) at the par-70 TPC River Highlands, which is rated as one of the American circuit’s shortest courses, while the town is believed to have a desirable, suburban feel with lots of restaurants, coffee shops and parks.
U.S. Senior Open
This week also features the U.S. Senior Open in Pennsylvania, days after the U.S. Open, while the Sunshine Tour is in recess.
South African great Retief Goosen will be looking to go one better in the Senior U.S. Open after finishing joint runner-up in the competition last year.
SA’s Simon Hobday won the event in 1994. Goosen is joined at Saucon Valley Country this week by fellow master player Els and another compatriot in James Kingston.
The par-71 course carries a prize purse of $4 million (R63,6 million), which is not too shabby for players who are generally close to retirement.