ANOTHER week, yet another tournament on the DP World Tour circuit. the Classic pecan wood will debut as a co-sanctioned tournament between the Sunshine Tour and the DP World Tour at Pecanwood Golf & Country Club March 10-13. The new tournament will feature a $1.5 million prize pool and the field of 156 professionals will be split between Sunshine Tour and European Tour golfers.
“We are delighted to welcome Pecanwood Golf & Country Club as the home of the new Pecanwood Classic to our tour,” said Thomas Abtcurator of the Sunshine Tour.
“As the first Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in South Africa, Pecanwood set a new benchmark for golf courses in South Africa when it opened, and we are extremely pleased to finally host a major international Sunshine Tournament. Tour and European Tour on its fairways.
“The Pecanwood Classic will be played in an important window for us in March and gives us a very good end to our summer program while also providing our Sunshine Tour professionals with another great opportunity to compete for a place on the European Tour. .”
Since its official opening in 1996, Pecanwood Golf Course has hosted several amateur and professional tournaments on its fairways on the banks of the spectacular Hartbeespoort Dam and less than an hour’s drive from Pretoria and Johannesburg.
The Pecanwood Classic is a milestone in the golf course’s history and adds to the country’s already strong presence on the international European Tour calendar with a total of six South African tournaments now co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the DP World Tour.
“We are extremely delighted to launch the Pecanwood Classic as an international tournament which will truly showcase Pecanwood Estate’s status as one of South Africa’s premier golf estates, and still a leader, offering a style of life of choice in a prestigious and secure environment,” said Morne BothaCEO of the Pecanwood Estate Homeowners’ Association.
“We have no doubt that the backdrop of a world-class golf course and lifestyle estate offering everything from golf to boating will captivate golfers and international audiences as much as our residents. who call this magical piece of Africa their home.”
(Image credit: Kevin Diss Photography)
The best European players are otherwise committed to the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass this week. Bernd Wiesberger could have expected to be in the pack, but his world ranking has slipped to 67. He must soon find his way back into the top 50 if he is to secure his place in all four major tournaments this season.
Eight times winner of the DP World Tour, Wiesberger will surely be inspired by the victory of his compatriot Sepp Straka in the Honda Classic. I would have bet a lot of money on Wiesberger being the first Austrian to win on the PGA Tour – and I would have lost. Wiesberger finished tied for second at the Dubai Championship in November, but his form since then has been quite uneven, and he’ll want to address that – and soon.
by Richard Bland the fairy tale continues. He won the British Masters last year, his first victory at the 478th attempt. And he continued to play superb golf. He is now 55th in the world rankings after finishing second at the Dubai Desert Classic, a Rolex Series event that rewarded him with plenty of gold. Bland has long accepted that he doesn’t hit the ball 300 yards, but there are few better corner players than the England veteran. Don’t bet against him to clinch a second DP World Tour title soon.
There is a plethora of South African talent on the DP World Tour at the moment and a number of them are playing this week, including the two-time winner Dean Burmester. He kicks the ball in the middle of next week and has shown decent recent form. He finished tied for sixth at the DP World Tour Championship, finished 55th at the Dubai Desert Classic after a miserable 77 finish, and finished second at the Dimension Data Pro-Am.
Keep an eye out for JC Ritchie, who enjoyed a purple spot on the Sunshine Tour, finishing eighth at the Joburg Open, fourth at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, before back-to-back victories at the Cape Town Open and the Workwear Open. Ritchie is a prodigious talent and it’s only a matter of time before he takes a decisive victory on the DP World Tour.
This is the first staging of this event
Pecanwood Golf & Country Club is a par 72 measuring 7,647 yards. Conceived by Jack Nicklaus, it is located on the banks of the Hartbeespoort dam. The fairways are quite generous and although the course is quite flat, there are several artificial mounds and numerous water features. The signature hole is the 13th, a par three measuring 205 yards that plays along the dam to a greenside bordered on both sides by bunkers.
After successive victories on the Sunshine Tour, JC Ritchie is ready to take the next step. He is highly rated in his native South Africa and will of course play at home. He might be hard to beat. But he will face stiff opposition from a host of Europeans who have a point to prove, led by Bernd Wiesberger.
JC Ritchie. Ready for the first success of the DP World Tour
In each direction:
Bernd Wiesberger. Want to get back into the top 50
In each direction:
Dean Burmester. It all depends on whether he put his boots on
Golfers to watch:
JC Ritchie. knows how to win
Bernd Wiesberger. Glorious swing
Dean Burmester. Impressive ball striker
Richard Bland. One of the great stories
Five strangers to watch:
Wilco Nienaber. An immense talent, plagued by incoherence
David Drysdale. The veteran is still looking for that elusive first win
Scott Jamieson. Card already secured, so the pressure is off
Jamie Donaldson. Veteran who is still able to rub shoulders with the best
Fabrice Zanotti. Has yet to miss a cut this season
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or the Open, the Ryder Cup or the WM Phoenix Open, create your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.