DID YOU KNOW –  SOUTH AFRICAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

• The South African Open Championship has a rich history and is the second oldest National Open Championship in the world, dating back to 1893, (that year it was played as an exhibition where it was first played in Port Elizabeth). Only The Open Championship, which started in 1860 is older.

• The South African Open Championship returns to Glendower Golf Club for the first time since 1997. This was the first year that the Championship became part of The European Tour International Schedule and won by Vijay Singh.

• Defending champion, Henrik Stenson will be aiming to make a successful defence of a European Tour title for the first time in his career. He became the last sponsors invitation to win on The European Tour when he won at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate 12 months ago.

• The 37 year old became the second Swede to win South Africa’s National Open, following Mathias Grönberg in 2000. They are the only two Continental Europeans to claim the crown.

• Since the South African Open Championship became part of The European Tour in 1997, South Africans have won the event on 12 of the 17 times since being co-sanctioned.  This represents the country’s most number of victories in a single European Tour event.

• Glendower Golf Club first hosted the Championship in 1989 and was won by American Fred Wadsworth. Clinton Whitelaw tasted victory in 1993, followed by former Masters Tournament champion, Vijay Singh, four years on.

• Leading the home challenge will be Charl Schwartzel. He will be making his 12th appearance in the event. Although he has yet to win, he was tied second in 2005. In all he has been placed in the top five, four times and has recorded five top ten positions overall. Of his eight European Tour victories, five have been on home soil. 

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