George Coetzee has confirmed he will play in all three of the upcoming European Tour and Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned tournaments, starting with a return to the Joburg Open, where he won the first of his five European Tour titles.
Coetzee heads to Randpark Golf Club on November 19-22 with memories of his first European Tour title at the 2014 Joburg Open still fresh in his mind.
“I’ve always thought that the Joburg Open is one of the most beautiful trophies on Tour, probably because it was my first European Tour win. I’m very excited that it’s making its comeback on the Tour. It’s been missed the last couple of years,” Coetzee said of a tournament that is back on the international schedule for the first time since 2017.
Coetzee is very aware of the role the Joburg Open played in launching his international career. This September he added his fifth European Tour title in the Portugal Masters, and this was also his first European Tour victory in Europe.
“When I think back on it now I feel very lucky to have won the Joburg Open in 2014. I remember I was so nervous and I hit some shaky shots in the final round. I started that final round a few shots behind which made it a little bit easier to be more aggressive. But it was nice to tick that box of a first European Tour win because it gave me the confidence to know I can do it, and I used that confidence for my other European Tour wins.
“This year’s victory in Portugal was another box ticked because it was always my goal to win in Europe. I targeted a couple of events where I thought I’d have a really good opportunity of winning, and Portugal was one of them. It all worked out pretty well that week.
“Hopefully I can put a similar plan together for these three upcoming co-sanctioned tournaments in South Africa. I’m very excited about these three tournaments. I think the Sunshine Tour and European Tour have done a great job in getting these co-sanctioned tournaments to take place this year. I think everybody is very excited for the opportunity to play some serious golf.”
Bongi Mokaba, Director of Events for the City of Johannesburg, said: “We’re delighted to have George confirm his place in the field as not only a great former champion of this tournament, but also a current European Tour champion. The Joburg Open was launched with a vision to be a tournament of opportunity in a world-class African city, and it has certainly been this as it helped to tee off George’s international career.”
Coetzee has been in great form this year with a victory on the Sunshine Tour’s Rise-Up Series in the Titleist Championship to add to his triumph in Portugal.
He also heads to Randpark with the chance to become the third golfer to win the Joburg Open twice. Charl Schwartzel (2010 and 2011) and Richard Sterne (2008 and 2013) are the only golfers to have achieved this since the tournament teed off in 2007.