Sheldon Steyn makes debut in Joburg


ZIMBABWEAN professional golfer Sheldon Steyn will make his debut on the Sunshine Tour when he takes part in the pre-qualifying round of Joburg Open on the West Course of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club this morning.


Steyn, who recently earned his Sunshine Tour card at the 2014 Sunshine Tour Qualifying School in Bloemfontein, will be one of three Zimbabweans on the field with Micky Hough and Greg Bentley.

The trio will join 97 other hopefuls from South Africa, England, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Swaziland and Zambia as they battle it out for only 10 slots in the tournament proper which gets underway on Thursday.

The Joburg Open, which has a lucrative prize fund of €1,3 million, is the highest paying tournament in South Africa.

Seasoned Zimbabwean professional golfer Ryan Cairns will play in the tournament proper starting on Thursday as he is exempted from the pre-qualifiers after his breakthrough win on the Sunshine Tour two years ago. The Joburg Open is one of four major tournaments in South Africa co-sanctioned by the European Tour together with the Alfred Dunhill Championship, the South African Open and the Africa Open.

Due to the lucrative prize money, the tournament is expected to welcome a strong field of international golfers.

It will be a 72-hole stroke play championship with 18 holes played each day from Thursday to Sunday. The field will comprise 206 professionals with 98 allocated between both the Sunshine and European tours and 10 pre-qualifiers.

South African golfer Richard Sterne will go into this year’s tournament as the defending champion following his victory last year to add to his 2008 success in the same tournament.