Tributes have been paid to Nedbank Golf Challenge Tournament Director Dan Sevel who died on Thursday.
The 40 year old, who took over as the Tournament Director of the prestigious event in 2016, died in his native South Africa.
During his tenure as Tournament Director, the popular tournament at Sun City has grown in stature and is now part of the Rolex Series – the eight premium events on the European Tour.
Tournament host Gary Player was among those who led the tributes to Mr Sevel, who was described as a ‘gentle soul’ and a ‘great person’.
Player said: "We are all saddened and shocked by the tragic passing of Nedbank Golf Challenge Tournament Director, Dan Sevel. It is with a heavy heart that i learned this news as he always seemed such a happy man whose work for Sun International was simply outstanding.
"He was such a gentleman who undoubtedly will be dearly missed. Dan leaves a legacy of hard work and dedication. My deepest condolences and prayers to his family and loved ones. RIP
“Devastated today! Dan our friend we going to miss you! Truly gutted!! RIP,” Els tweeted.
European Tour winner Dean Burmester said: "So sad to have to say goodbye to one of the most inspirational men I have ever come across. What you did for South Africa and a lot of young professionals was amazing. Going to miss you Dan," while five-time European Tour winner Ross Fisher added: "Very very sad to hear. Had the pleasure of spending time with Dan. Great man and fun to be around. Will be missed."
“Dan Sevel, it was an honor to have known you. You will be truly missed. My thoughts are with his family,” wrote Titch Moore, a ten-time winner on the Sunshine Tour.
Oliver Bekker, who competes on the European Challenge Tour, said: “It’s with a heavy heart that I say this! Rest In Peace Dan Sevel. You will be missed!”
Zack Byrd, a regular on the Sunshine Tour, said: “Devastated to hear the news out of SA with the death of Dan Sevel. He was a great person and a wonderful supporter to the game of golf. His smile will truly be missed on the Sunshine Tour. Prayers to his family and the Sun International family.”
Olympic gold medalist Roland Schoeman tweeted: “Incredibly saddened to hear about the passing of Dan Sevel. He always went out of his way to help me and many other sportsmen and women. My prayers and condolences to all his family and friends. Dan you’ll be missed”
In a statement, the Sunshine Tour said: “He was more than a friend. We will miss Dan Sevel dearly. Working with him on tournaments was always an exercise filled with smiles and laughter. Golf has lost a close ally. We wish long life to all close to him.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “Dan was an integral figure in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, and we are very saddened by news of his passing. On behalf of the European Tour, Nedbank and Sun International, our thoughts and sympathies are with Dan’s family and friends."
Devastated today! Dan our friend we going to miss you! Truly gutted!! RIP #dansevel— Ernie Els (@TheBig_Easy) July 12, 2018
Dan Sevel, it was an honor to have known you. You will be truly missed.— Titch Moore (@TitchMoore76) July 12, 2018
My thoughts are with his family 🙏
It’s with a heavy heart that I say this! Rest In Peace Dan Sevel. You will be missed! 😢😢😢— Oliver Bekker (@olliebekkergolf) July 12, 2018
He was more than a friend. We will miss Dan Sevel dearly. Working with him on tournaments was always an exercise filled with smiles and laughter. Golf has lost a close ally. We wish long life to all close to him #RIPDanSevel— Sunshine Tour (@Sunshine_Tour) July 13, 2018
Deeply saddened by the passing of one of the kindest people I have ever known. Rest in peace Dan Sevel. You will be missed.— alex haindl (@AlexHaindl) July 12, 2018
RIP to a gentle soul. You will be missed #DanSevel— Nicole Garcia (@Nicole_Garcia72) July 12, 2018