Toto Thimba of South Africa plays a shot at the South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Joburg at Randpark Golf Club, January 9 2020. Picture: SHAUN ROY/SUNSHINE TOUR/GALLO IMAGES
Toto Thimba of South Africa plays a shot at the South African Open Championship hosted by the City of Joburg at Randpark Golf Club, January 9 2020. Picture: SHAUN ROY/SUNSHINE TOUR/GALLO IMAGES

The 110th SA Open at the Gary Player Country Club this week represents an incredible opportunity for the entire field, and none more so than for Sunshine Tour golfers who see a victory this week as a career dream.

“This ranks very highly for me in terms of tournaments I want to win,” said Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who is looking for back-to-back victories after his triumph in last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship.

“It’s one of the most prestigious tournaments in world golf, and the second-oldest national Open in golf. For any South African golfer it’s a dream to win their national Open. I’ve come close a couple of times and would love to pull it through this week.”

“It’s a special week, no doubt about it,” said young Sunshine Tour professional Dylan Naidoo. “The SA Open is very important for all of us. This is a tournament that everyone marks on the schedule. I mean, you have somebody like Dylan Frittelli who’s just played in The Masters coming back to play here. All the top Sunshine Tour professionals support the SA Open.”

As a winner on the Sunshine Tour in 2019’s KCB Karen Masters, Toto Thimba Jnr views the SA Open as the next step in his career. “For me to win the SA Open would be huge. Every SA golfer wants to win this one. I’m very excited and pleased to be here competing this week.”

The national Open is indeed an immense golf opportunity, as five-time champion Ernie Els points out. “My career started by winning the SA Open at Houghton in 1992. It got me into European Tour events and into The Open where I finished fifth that year. There’s so much in the SA Open I’m grateful for.”

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