Open Championship IFQ for Royal Durban

Royal Durban Golf ClubOn Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 February 2009, International Final Qualifying – Africa will take place at Royal Durban Golf Club for the first time.

Shared between Atlantic Beach Golf Club in Cape Town and Royal Johannesburg & Kensington since its inception in 2004, the event now moves to South Africa’s east coast to a course which, unusually, lies within the rails of a race course.

Overlooked by the stands of the Durban Turf Club, the first thing that one notices about the Royal Durban layout is the conspicuous absence of large bushes or trees which are prohibited for the simple reason that they would obscure race-goers’ views of the track. To compensate, the course is tight and with narrow fairways bordered by punishing rough.

The Club, which was established in 1892 and granted “Royal” status in 1932, is no stranger to high-profile events having staged last-year’s South African Amateur Championship and regularly playing host to qualifying rounds for the South African Open.

The opportunity for The R&A to take IFQ to Durban has arisen after the Sunshine Tour’s scheduling of the Nashua Masters, which will take place from 29 January to 1 February at KwaZulu-Natal’s Wild Coast Country Club.

“It’s great to be able to take IFQ – Africa to South Africa’s third most populous city,” commented Rhodri Price, The R&A’s Assistant Director – Championships. “Our aim is to make the two days of qualifying as convenient as possible for the players and, since they’ll be just down the coast at Port Edward on the Sunday before, Durban was the obvious choice.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome IFQ – Africa to Royal Durban Golf Club,” added General Manager, Pam Maybery. “We’re confident that we will provide the golfers with a fitting venue and a stern test over the two days of top-level international competition.”

Live scores and stories will appear on opengolf.comthroughout the two days of competition.

The full IFQ Africa entry list and draw can be found here.

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