Young Sunshine Tour stars set for Challenge Tour opportunities

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  • Post published:October 24, 2023

The Sunshine Tour’s rising stars are set for another season of incredible opportunity with the four European Challenge Tour co-sanctioned tournaments that will tee off the new year on South African fairways.

In February 2024, Sunshine Tour professionals will be able to compete in four Challenge Tour events on their home fairways in the SDC Open, Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open, Dimension Data Pro-Am and NMB Championship.

The value of these events in South Africa was clearly seen last season when Sunshine Tour professionals made a clean sweep of all four of these titles.

Oliver Bekker used his victory in the Dimension Data Pro-Am to go on and secure his DP World Tour card. Benjamin Follett-Smith (Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open), JJ Senekal (SDC Open) and Dylan Mostert (NMB Championship) all used their victories last season to play the Challenge Tour in search of a DP World Tour card.

Casey Jarvis also built on his strong start to the year in these four tournaments and went on to claim a maiden victory on the Challenge Tour as well as two runners-up finishes that currently puts him within the top five on the Road to Mallorca Rankings and on track to earn his DP World Tour card next season.

In 2024, the Challenge Tour’s South African Swing will tee off with the SDC Open at Zebula Golf Estate & Spa from 1-4 February, followed by the Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 8-11 February, the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt from 15-18 February, and the NMB Championship at Humewood Golf Club from 22-25 February.

Following these events, the Sunshine Tour will host two DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournaments – the SDC Championship at St Francis Links from 29 February to 2 March and then the Jonsson Workwear Open at Glendower Golf Club from 7-10 March.

The Tour will then take on a local focus with the Stella Artois Players Championship at Dainfern Golf Estate from 21-24 March, the Limpopo Championship at Euphoria Golf Estate from 4-7 April and the season-ending Tour Championship at Serengeti Estates from 11-14 April.

“The longstanding partnership between our two tours has been an invaluable step on the global pathway for Sunshine Tour professionals seeking to develop their careers on the international stage,” said Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour.

“It’s a vital opportunity for our members early in the new year to really set themselves up for a strong international season that can allow them to progress onto the DP World Tour, and we’re grateful to our partners at the Challenge Tour for being able to keep strengthening this relationship.”

Jamie Hodges, Challenge Tour Director, said: “We are delighted to further strengthen our relationship with the Sunshine Tour and take the Challenge Tour to South Africa for the fifth consecutive year. South Africa has always been a popular destination for our members and these events provide them with valuable playing opportunities at a time of the year when it is difficult to stage events in Europe.

“We have worked closely with Thomas Abt and his team to develop the global pathway and it has been wonderful to witness the exciting new talent emerge from the Sunshine Tour and earn a place on the DP World Tour through the Challenge Tour.”