More Sunshine Tour events postponed

Wednesday April 22 2020

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Kenya's Greg Snow follows the flight of his tee from hole 10 during the KCB Karen Masters tournament on June 27, 2019. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By Daily Nation

The Sunshine Tour events which had been scheduled for May, June and July have either been postponed or cancelled.

The Sunshine Tour, which is part of the world’s leading professional golf tours, stages its events in South Africa, Swaziland (Eswatini), Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya. According to the tour’s latest newsletter issued on April 18, the events which were scheduled for the three months, were postponed or cancelled following consultation with sponsors of the events.

“We trust that you are all staying safe and keeping yourself busy during the lockdown period. At the outset we set out to communicate regularly with the membership and we hope that you find these weekly newsletters informative and to keep in touch," said the newsletter.

This was also confirmed by the Sunshine Tour Senior Tournament Director Gary Todd on Tuesday. “As of now, we are not talking about the calendar because we don’t even know if there will at all be any events this year. It will all depend on the situation," said Todd.

Events which had been scheduled for May, June and July included the Investec Royal Swazi Open on May 6 to 9, Zambia Open in Kitwe from May 14-17, and the Lombard Insurance at Arabella in Western Cape from May 22 to 24.

There was one event, the Sun City Challenge that had been scheduled in the month of June (3-5). While those in July included Vodacom Origins of Golf in Western Cape, The Royal Swazi Challenge in Swaziland from July 29 to 31.

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Most of those events usual attract some of the Kenyan professionals such as Greg Snow, Simon Ngige and Erick Ooko.

“It is evident that, in respect of this Covid-19 crisis we are guided by government policies in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Swaziland where we stage events on the African continent. The underlying priority for us all, is the health and safety of everyone associated with the Sunshine Tour."

Todd said the Sunshine Tour Executive team have been in talks with most of event sponsors and reached an agreement that they will not make any decision relating to any event prior to July 10, 2020.

“In consideration of this we need to look to the future, and we shall do whatever needs to be done to keep our event sponsors interested and committed to keeping their events on our schedule."

The Investec Royal Swazi Open, which was to be held in May, has been rescheduled for October 28-31, while the Lombard Insurance Classic which was also to take place in May has been cancelled until 2021.

Also cancelled for this year, is the Zambia Open, due to the situation in Kitwe and the Covid-19 pandemic. Sunshine Tour is awaiting the official correspondence from the Zambia Golf Union (ZGU). But the Kings Cup in Swaziland will still take place in the scheduled date from September 3-5.

For the Vodacom Origins of Golf, no decision will be made before July 10, on the possible way forward.

“In consideration of the above we do not expect to return to competitive play before August, sponsor dependent, and we shall continue to work with everyone concerned to present a detailed schedule of events into next year," added the Newsletter.

On the other hand, Todd said he will be communicating with Karen Country Club, hosts of the KCB Karen Masters, as well as the sponsors KCB.

The KCB Karen Masters, now part of the Sunshine Tour, was moved from the month of June to September. According to the 2020 Sunshine Tour calendar of events, KCB Karen Masters is scheduled for September 10 to 13 at the par 72 Karen Country Club course.

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