DID YOU KNOW – BMW SA OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP HOSTED BY CITY OF EKURHULENI
• 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 tournament first became part of The European Tour International Schedule in 1997. Defending champion, Andy Sullivan will try to become only the second player following Trevor Immelman (2003-04) to make a successful defence of the title, since the event was co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour.
• In 2015 Andy Sullivan became the first English winner since Tommy Horton in 1970.
• Ernie Els will be looking to win his national title for the sixth time, the last being in 2011 season (played in December 2010). Should he win again he would move into fourth in the list of most prolific winners of the event. Gary player has 13, Bobby Locke nine and Sid Brews has eight. Els is currently level with George Fotheringham on five.
• Glendower Golf Club staged the Championship the first time the event was co-sanctioned with The European Tour in 1997 and won by Vijay Singh. Since then the Johannesburg venue has hosted the 2014 and 2015 event and will do again this year.
• Since the South African Open Championship became part of The European Tour in 1997, South African players have won the event 12 of the 19 times since being co-sanctioned.
• The 2016 event will be the 20th consecutive time the Championship has been co-sanctioned with The European Tour. This is more than any other co-sanctioned European Tour event.
• South Africa’s National Open is the first event of the calendar year. Since 1997 South African golfers have won the opening event of a calendar season on 13 previous occasions.
The 2016 event will see the 200th co-sanctioned event that The European Tour has been involved in, since the first one in 1995.
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