The 2023 Joburg Open will tee off an historic international season on the Sunshine Tour as the tournament celebrates the start of the DP World Tour’s new Opening Swing to its global season with a world-class field and a host of added incentives on offer.
The Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournament will take place at Houghton Golf Club from 23-26 November with a field already including former Joburg Open champions Thriston Lawrence and Branden Grace as well as Dean Burmester, Christian Bezuidenhout and a selection of the leading professionals from the DP World Tour.
There will be several added incentives for the professionals this year including a share of a sizeable cash bonus pool on the Opening Swing and the opportunity to possibly play their way onto the DP World Tour and ultimately the PGA Tour.
Since 2007 the Joburg Open has been a leading tournament on the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour calendars with a proud record of creating opportunities for young professionals to take their careers onto the global stage, and supporting the transformational drive of South African golf through exemptions into the tournament for members of the Sunshine Tour’s Papwa Sewgolum Class for historically disadvantaged professionals or invitations for leading GolfRSA amateurs to gain competitive exposure.
The 2023 Joburg Open will be the first to tee off the DP World Tour’s new globally restructured season as it ushers in an Opening Swing that will run from November to December this year. This swing will have its own Order of Merit, and the leading professional at the conclusion of this will earn an extra $200 000 and, if already a member of the DP World Tour, an invitation into the Hero Dubai Desert Classic – a Rolex Series tournament – and a spot in each of the DP World Tour’s ‘Back Nine’ series of nine lucrative tournaments towards the end of the season from August to October 2024.
The value of a strong start to the season in the Joburg Open translates into possibly finishing within the top 110 players on the Race to Dubai Rankings at the conclusion of the ‘Back Nine’ to earn a DP World Tour card for 2025, while the top 70 also qualify for the DP World Tour Play-Offs where the top 10 will earn their PGA Tour cards (if not already members) for the following season, as well as compete for a share of a $6 million bonus pool.
“The Joburg Open has always sought to mirror the ambitions of the City of Joburg’s residents and create an aspirational effect amongst our residents. This year’s Joburg Open epitomises this spirit of opportunity,” said Mayor Kabelo Gwamanda.
“We know that golf courses are where business deals are struck. So, we believe that this is the place where we are going to talk about how we are going to build, repair, and grow the City as well as attract investment.
“Johannesburg is a world-class African city and the Joburg Open reflects this through its status in world golf as an event that creates opportunities at the highest level and which can transform lives. This is the kind of sporting excellence we are proud to be associated with, and equally so with organisations as globally respected as the Sunshine Tour and the DP World Tour.”
Thomas Abt, the Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “We are excited to welcome back some of our leading professionals for the Joburg Open and the start of an exciting international season on the Sunshine Tour.”
“The months of November and December on the Sunshine Tour represent an incredible opportunity for our Sunshine Tour members, starting with the Joburg Open. It really is quite possible that one of our members can perform well on this Opening Swing and set up a season that could see him earn a PGA Tour card by the end of it. That’s the power of the global pathway we’ve worked hard to create with the DP World Tour and PGA Tour.”
Keith Pelley, the DP World Tour’s Chief Executive, said: “We have a longstanding history with the Sunshine Tour, and the Joburg Open is a terrific example of how that strategic partnership continues to benefit members of both Tours through increased playing opportunities and pathways.”
“It is the first of six events on our 2024 schedule which are co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour, and it is also one of two events which will launch both our 2024 Race to Dubai and our inaugural Opening Swing. There will therefore be even more for players to compete for in this year’s edition of the Joburg Open.”