The final leg of the European Challenge Tour’s South African Swing takes place this week as the Dimension Data Pro-Am gets under way at Fancourt Golf Estate. Here is what you need to know before the action begins on Thursday…
Fancourt Golf Estate is one of the most luxurious venues in South Africa, complete with three stunning golf courses. The event is usually played across all three courses – The Links, Outeniqua and Montagu – however this year’s tournament will be played only on the Outeniqua and the Montagu. All players will play one round on each course before the final two rounds take place on the Montagu.
Local players have emerged victorious from each of the opening two events on the South African Swing, and they will be going for a clean sweep in George this week. Brandon Stone, who graduated to the European Tour through the Road to Mallorca Rankings in 2015, won his first Challenge Tour title at the Limpopo Championship, coming out on top of a four-man play-off in Modimolle. Extra holes were also required to determine the winner at last week’s Bain’s Whisky Cape Town Open as JC Ritchie returned to the winner’s circle with a birdie at the first play-off hole, overcoming the long-time leader Jacques Blaauw.
Same tournament, different format
The Dimension Data Pro-Am usually brings together the stars of the Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour with well-known names of sport and business for four days of Pro-Am competition. The likes of Australian cricketer Shane Warne, South African legend AB de Villiers and ex-footballers Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen have been spotted at Fancourt Golf Estate in the past, but this year’s event will be strictly professionals only. Due to COVID-19 protocols, it was agreed to remove the Pro-Am aspect from this year’s event but to still provide playing opportunities for the professionals.
The winner of the Dimension Data Pro-Am will benefit from full playing privileges on the Challenge Tour, as well as the lion’s share of the largest prize fund on the Road to Mallorca, but that’s not all. The champion will also receive an exemption into the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind, the third World Golf Championships event of the year, and will get the opportunity to tee it up alongside some of golf’s biggest names.