Entry closes on greatest field in South African Open Championship history

– South Africa’s top six golfers in the field
– ‘Voice of golf’ Ivor Robson confirmed as official starter
– ‘Celebration of golf’ sees free admission every day

The entries have closed on the strongest field in South African Open Championship history, with three Major champions, four current Ryder Cup players, and six of South Africa’s top players set to tee it up at Pearl Valley Golf Estates from December 18-21.

The second oldest national Open in the game will be a celebration of golf with a field headlined by Ernie Els, Tim Clark, Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini, David Frost, Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke, Justin Rose, Trevor Immelman, Rory McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel and Richard Sterne.

Ivor Robson, the official starter of The Open Championship since 1975, will also bring the most recognisable voice in golf to the first tee of the South African Open for the very first time.

A total of 35 countries are represented at this year’s championship which has drawn entries from as far afield as Iceland, with Birgir Hafthorsson joining the field. There will also be several golfers hoping to celebrate their new European Tour status with a strong showing at Pearl Valley Golf Estates. These include South Africa’s Branden Grace and Zimbabwean Marc Cayeux, who both secured their playing privileges on the 2009 European Tour at the recent qualifying school finals in Spain, as well as Scotland’s Andrew Coltart, who finds himself back on the Tour after several years.

David Spencer, CEO-Golf of Leisurecorp, said:
“Free entry, one of the greatest fields ever seen in the southern hemisphere, and the strongest possible South African challenge means that we are expecting a record crowd. Els, Goosen, Rose, Westwood, all the big guns are here and when you throw Sabbatini into the mix, who has incredibly never played in the South African Open before, you have the recipe for a thrilling four days of golf.

“We are also extremely honoured to have Ivor Robson as the official starter of the South African Open for the very first time. Ivor has made the phrase ‘On the tee’ his own since becoming The European Tour’s official starter in 1975 and is the voice of golf; it’s a real privilege to have him here.”

Admission to the South African Open will be free for anyone who pre-registers for tickets at www.southafricanopen.com. Free tickets are also available from the Pearl Valley Lifestyle Experience at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

For every visitor who obtains free tickets to the South African Open, R5 will be donated to the official charity, the Pebbles Project. For more information on the Pebbles Project visit www.pebblesproject.co.za

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