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The European Tour And Sunshine Tour Sign A Landmark Deal

By Taruka Srivastav | July 9, 2021

The European Tour and the Sunshine Tour have signed a new landmark partnership.

The European Tour has committed to help further develop the Sunshine Tour, improving the existing international pathway between the two Tours that has seen countless South African players benefit from over the years, and to recognise the sustained contribution of South Africa’s professionals and Sunshine Tour Chairman Johann Rupert in the development and growth of the game worldwide.

The PGA TOUR – the European Tour’s Strategic Alliance partners – are fully supportive of this new development in global golf which will focus on two key areas.

The first of these is the fact that the South African Open Championship – one of the oldest and most prestigious tournaments in world golf – is guaranteed as a co-sanctioned tournament between the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour through 2025, with a minimum prize fund of US$1.5 million for this period. Further tournaments to fall under this new co-sanctioning agreement will be confirmed in due course.

The Challenge Tour will also benefit from the new partnership with a commitment to not only continue to stage the existing three Challenge Tour events in South Africa, but also to create several new co-sanctioned events which will feature on both the Challenge and Sunshine Tours.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “For many years the European Tour has greatly valued the relationship we have enjoyed with the Sunshine Tour and today’s announcement is the next step in that journey together.

“Through the leadership, vision and commitment of Chairman Johann Rupert, the Sunshine Tour has not only flourished and produced many of the game’s greats over decades, it is also part of the ecosystem that is at the very core of professional golf.

“We have been proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Sunshine Tour on this pathway for over a quarter of a century and we very much look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.”

Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “This partnership is an acknowledgement of the contribution that our Chairman Johann Rupert has made not only to the advancement of the Sunshine Tour and its legacy, as well as golf development, but also to the overall growth of the global game.

“We are delighted with a partnership that recognizes South African golf’s place in the history of this great game, and which has been showcased through our long association with the European Tour. Selwyn Nathan, our Executive Director, has been instrumental in forming this partnership with the European Tour with our Chairman and Board’s counsel, and which sees us in the position that we are in today. This partnership will open the door to even greater growth for our players.”

PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said: “We are thrilled to see these two leading golf organizations come together for the benefit of the global game, players and fans. The European Tour and Sunshine Tour each have rich histories, celebrated events and a proven record of developing some of the world’s best players. This new partnership further illustrates the strengthening ecosystem of professional golf that we have all worked together to build for the betterment of the game.”

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