Record entries for Indwe Risk Services Senior Amateur Open
The senior amateur golf sector is making great strides, as reflected in the record number of entries received for this year’s Indwe Senior Amateur Open Championship at Fancourt this October.
“We received an unprecedented 363 entries,” said South African Golf Association Senior, Junior and Development Coordinator, Eden Thomson. “We were absolutely stunned by the response.
“It was not only a 31 percent increase on last year, but 99 entries more than the field size of 264 allows for a tournament of this stature. For the first time since the introduction of two courses we have had to revert to the ballot system to cut the field to the required size.
“I believe this to be a clear indication of the strength and depth of senior amateur golf in this country.”
Senior Golf chairman, Tim Hewan explained that the entries for the 2002 championship in George so far exceeded the field size at the time that the ballot system had to be introduced.
“We played at George Golf Club and the course couldn’t accommodate the number, so we had to implement the – a ballot system to cut the field,” Hewan said.
“The SA Senior Amateur Golf Association (SASAGA) – as it was then before the integration into SAGA – took the step of introducing the National Senior Event over two courses to accommodate the demand and in 2004, the SA Senior Amateur Open was played over at the Port Elizabeth Golf Club and Humewood.”
The new format stood up well and the number of entries have grown steadily to the 260/265 mark where they have hovered since 2007.
“The demand for spots and the interest in the event may require further reconsideration of the Championship format, but we are absolutely delighted with the growth shown this year,” Hewan said.
“In any sport, sustainability is of prime importance and to us, this vast amount of entries is testament to the growth and interest in the Senior Amateur section. Our Senior Amateur Open is sponsored by Indwe Risk Services, who also financially supports the annual Senior Inter-Provincial and it is really encouraging to have this kind of response.
“It is essential for sponsors to see that their investment is warranted. The record entries this year is definitely a salute to the importance of this championship on the annual South African golfing calendar.
“Above else, it shows a sponsor like Indwe Risk Services the growth in this sector where they are so strongly present.”
The Indwe Senior Amateur Open will be contested at the Gary Player-designed Montagu and Outeniqua courses at the Southern Cape’s premier golfing destination from 23-25 October.
Hewan said the championship has grown in popularity and stature over the last few years.
“Every participant, from the players to the officials, spectators and volunteers really enjoyed the ambience of the event at Wingate Park last year,” he said. “This year’s venue and the chance to play on two fantastic courses that has seen a lot of action in prestigious professional and amateur events, will only lend itself to further building the tradition and prestige of the Indwe Senior Amateur Open.”
Defending champion Mellette Hendrikse will lead a strong line-up including three-time winner Jock Wellington, current Senior number one Francois le Roux, as well as 2013 Provincial and Regional Senior champions Gavin van Aswegen, Norman Phillips, Ramon Rahme, Steve Smit, Rinus van Niekerk, Morgan Phillips, Ben Kleynhans, Peter van Coller and Phillipus Bierman.