Golf tournament for Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital launched

The City of Johannesburg is ready to tee-off its eighth (8th) edition of its Joburg Open, worth about R15m in sponsorship, at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East and West fairways from Thursday 6-9 February.

The late Nelson Mandela was the Freeman of the City and therefore this year as we celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy, the tournament will be dedicated to aiding the fundraising efforts for the construction of the Nelson Mandela Children Hospital. Both local and international players as well as members of the public have been asked to make generous pledges and donations to assist in realising Madiba’s dream.

The City is confident that golf players and members of the public would donate generously and give a hand in assisting children to get access to quality and specialised health care which will go a long way to build a healthy adult nation of the future.

This is an important tournament in the golf calendar for both local and international players. It is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and PGA European Tour as an official Order of Merit event. Furthermore, it is now part of The Open Championship Qualifying Series which will see the top three placed finishers not exempted but automatically qualifying for game?s most prestigious Major – The Open Championship taking place at Royal Liverpool (Hoylake) in July.

One of the unique features of the Joburg Open is that it is the only Sunshine Tour golfing spectacle to be played on two courses, the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East and West courses.

Memories of many still remember Richard Sterne’s masterful 2013 triumphant display in last year?s edition of the tournament. So, there will be many gunning to grab the winner’s trophy from him.

The tournament is a star-studded card with a mixture of top ranking professionals like Richard Sterne, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, David Howell, Ross Fisher, Darren Fichardt, Thomas Aiken, Alvaro Quiros, Morten Orum Madsen, George Coetzee, Shiv Kapur,Jaco Van Zyl etc.

A record 10% of the 200 top ranked golfers, as per the World Golf Rankings (as of Monday 20 Jan 2014), teed off at the Joburg Open. Three of these players are our champions. This just confirms the quality of the field and how the tournament has grown in just seven years. Of these players eleven of them are South African which augers very well for golf in the country.

The Pro-Am which precedes the tournament will take place on the 4 February 2014 at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington and the field will be led by Executive Mayor, Councillor Mpho Parks Tau, business associates, senior public figures, some 60 professional players and a host of other guests to make up the field of -players on both the East and West Course.

On the morning of the 05 February, professional golfers will conduct Coaching Clinics at the Alexandra Driving Range in Lombardy East. The Alexandra Driving Range continues to play a critical role in improving golfing skills of young golfers.

Tickets for spectators wishing to attend are available at the gate from 3 February. Ticket prices are R50 for a day and R100 for a four day pass. Hospitality packages are also available for corporates wanting to entertain their clients.

The Joburg Open affirms Johannesburg as a world-class destination with world-class infrastructure. Having hosted many successful major international sporting events like cricket, rugby, FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup, and most recently the African Cup of Nations AFCON 2013, Johannesburg is ready to host yet another successful Joburg Open in 2014.

The City’s reputation as a dynamic host city of global conferences, exhibitions and sporting events is strengthening a positive impression about its resources, infrastructure and human resource capabilities. Among the international conferences hosted by the City are Metropolis Board of Directors meeting, One Young World Summit and World Anti-Doping Agency, to name just a few. In the coming weeks, the Mayors from many world megacities will meet in Johannesburg to discuss mitigating the dangers of climate change from 04 to 06 February 2014 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

We urge all our Joburg citizens to support this year’s edition of the Joburg Open tournament and make a meaningful contribution in raising the all needed funds for the Nelson Mandela Children Hospital.

Geoffrey Makhubo

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