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Golf | SA

Selwyn Nathan © Gallo Images

Tournament of Hope on hold



The Sunshine Tour, in conjunction with the International Federation of PGA Tours, today announced that the much-anticipated US$8.5-million Tournament of Hope has regrettably been put on hold for the foreseeable future.

Scheduled for a first staging in late November 2013, the Tournament of Hope is sanctioned by all the member Tours that make up the International Federation of PGA Tours.

However, the Sunshine Tour has confirmed that its commercial partner has been unable to fulfill the expectations of potential sponsors for various reasons beyond its control.

While the necessary funding for the event was originally in place, the recent weakening of the Rand has added more pressure to the budget and it has been decided it would be unreasonable to expect sponsors to commit to the event at this stage.

“It is deeply regrettable that we have had to take this decision,” said Selwyn Nathan, Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour.

“However, we as a Tour cannot be associated with an event that cannot deliver all of our sponsors' expectations at a fair price and therefore puts them and us at risk. We will continue to work with the International Federation to implement suitable guarantees to sponsors who commit to the event, which will allow us to move forward to the first staging of the Tournament of Hope.

“There has been an overwhelming amount of support for this event from South African and international sponsors and we thank them for their commitment and interest. We look forward to making further announcements in due course that will provide clarity on the way forward in order to deliver this world-class event to South African golf fans.”

The Sunshine Tour has been engaged in ongoing discussions with Sun International and Nedbank to explore the possibility of combining the Tournament of Hope and the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

With these recent developments, both Sun International and Nedbank have reaffirmed their commitment both to the growth of the game in South Africa and to the staging of the 33rd Nedbank Golf Challenge in its traditional year-end period within the Sunshine Tour’s 2013 summer swing.

Further announcements about the date and the final format of the 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge will be made in due course.

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