The first tournament of the 2018 European Tour season will be the South African Open with Glendower Golf Club staging the event between January 11-14.
Graeme Storm will be the defending champion of the event, co-sanctioned along with the Sunshine Tour, having beaten Rory McIlroy in a play-off in 2017.
South African Open History
The BMW-sponsored South African Open has a rich history, dating back 1903. In fact, it is the oldest national championship anywhere in the world.
It is the top event on South Africa’s Sunshine Tour and kicks off the action each calendar year on the European Tour.
Gary Player is the most successful player in SA Open history, winning the tournament 13 times, while Bobby Locke triumphed nine times and Ernie Els is a five-time winner. Other notable past winners include Vijay Singh, Retief Goosen, and Henrik Stenson.
South African Open Course
Glendower Golf Course has staged the South African Open since 2013 when it replaced the Serengeti Golf Club as the host venue.
Located in Edenvale in Gauteng province, Glendower is a par-72 test measuring 7,594 yards.
South African Open Contenders
Graeme Storm will be the defending champion at Glendower Golf Club after winning a play-off with Rory McIlroy last year after the pair finished level on 18-under par.
Andy Sullivan, Richard Sterne, Brandon Stone, Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Hennie Otto and Morten Orum Madsen are other former winners teeing it up.
It is Brandon Grace who is favoured for victory with bookmakers with South Africans dominating the betting markets to win what is their home championship.
Grace is joined among the leading contenders by major winner Charl Schwartzel, Dylan Frittelli, Dean Burmester and George Coetzee with the quintet of Springboks predicted to the ones to beat at Glendower.
Jordan Smith and Chris Wood are two Englishman who could make a mark this week, while Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen is another European Tour regular worth following at Glendower as they look to make the perfect start in the Race To Dubai standings.