Zim Open Golf gets new sponsor

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The Zimbabwe Open Golf Committee (ZOGC), organisers of the country’s premier golf tournament, will tonight unveil their new sponsors at a ceremony to be held at the Royal Harare Golf Club.

The Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned event will take place from April 19-22 at Royal Harare Golf Club.

The relevant pre-qualifying games and the traditional pro-am tournaments will be held during this period, culminating in the final professional tournament during the last four days of the week.
The last two editions of the tournament have been backed by a local data communication services company, Africom, working in partnership with Interfin Bank, Zimplats and Delta Beverages through their Golden Pilsner brand.

While the organisers were tight-lipped on the identity of the sponsors, sources told NewsDay Sport yesterday that Golden Pilsner, who are also the official partners of the Zambezi Tour, the country’s premier golf, were favourites to take over from Africom.

Last year’s tournament was sponsored to the tune of R1,25 million which was within the minimum Sunshine Tour prize money requirement of R1 million.

The Zimbabwe Open Golf Committee runs the Zimbabwe Open Tournament on behalf of the Zimbabwe Golf Association.

Last year, South African Theunis Spangenburg became the second winner of the rebranded Open after carding a two under-par 70 on the final day of competition to finish with a final score of 15 under-par 201 to walk away with R198 125.

The Zimbabwe Open was first played in 1984 and was part of what was then known as the Safari Tour, a collection of events in Africa that were played in by professionals on the European Tour during their winter break.

As a result, it became an event on the European-based Challenge Tour in 1991, where it remained for two seasons before moving onto the Sunshine Tour.

It was held in the weeks preceding the Nedbank Golf Challenge and attracted some of the world’s leading players as they used it as a warm-up to the big-money invitational.

Past winners include Vijay Singh and Nick Price, who along with Mark McNulty are the most successful players at the event, both men having recorded three victories. Ryder Cup player Gordon J Brand is also a previous winner.