The European Tour switches to another continent this week as it begins a two-week stay in South Africa for the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. This follows events in Dubai, Malaysia and Australia in the past month.
Home town hero Haydn Porteous claimed his maiden European Tour title last year at the event, one that has been dominated by South African players in recent years, only Denmark’s Anders Hansen in 2009 and Englishman Andy Sullivan in 2015 breaking the mould.
The Joburg Open has the largest field of the season with 210 players starting out on Thursday with hopes of being the next champion. The 2016 Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke is joined in the field by fellow Major Champions Trevor Immelman and YE Yang. The East and West courses will be used over the first days with the players making the cut after 36 holes switching to weekend play on the 7,658-yard par-72 East course.
The winner of this event will also have the additional incentive of an automatic qualifying place in the 2017 Open at Royal Birkdale in July. Porteous used his qualification 12 months ago to finished tied for 30th at Royal Troon.
After the Joburg Open, the tour moves to Pretoria and the Tshwane Open before heading to India and China, returning to mainland Europe in May.