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Joburg Open heralds return of international golf to South Africa

The event, last staged in 2017, was won by Indian Shubhankar Sharma.

International golf returns to South Africa in November after a nine-month coronavirus-induced suspension with the reintroduction of the Joburg Open, it was announced Tuesday.

The event, last staged in 2017 and won by Indian Shubhankar Sharma, is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Sunshine Tour. 

Randpark Golf Club, which boasts two international-standard courses in suburban Johannesburg, will host the Joburg Open from November 19-22.

There were no Joburg Open tournaments in 2018 or 2019 as the city hosted the South African Open instead.

Covid-19 forced the cancellation this year of the Nedbank Golf Challenge — popularly known as the African major — that was scheduled for northwestern resort Sun City.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome back the Joburg Open to our schedule,” said Sunshine Tour commissioner Thomas Abt.

“(It) is a momentous moment for South African professional golf as we also welcome back international competition to our fairways after a lengthy break.”

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “I am delighted to see the Joburg Open back on our schedule.

“We have a wonderful relationship with the Sunshine Tour stretching back many years and this co-sanctioned tournament is another example of that.”

Previous Joburg Open champions include South African Charl Schwartzel, once ranked sixth in the world and the winner of the 2011 Masters.

A South African golf official told AFP that details of at least two other European Tour/Sunshine Tour tournaments this season were expected to be announced soon.

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