1985 champion Gavan Levenson

December 2020 – “The thrill of lifting the national title was immense. Once your name is on that trophy, among those of some of the greatest players in the world, the thrill never goes away.” – Gavan Levenson, the champion in 1985 at Royal Durban Country Club.

Two-time European Tour champion Gavan Levenson made it 40 South African Open Championship appearances  – the most by any golfer – with his swansong at Glendower Golf Club in 2013.

One of South Africa’s highest-rated golf instructors in South Africa, Levenson was crowned the champion in 1985 at Royal Durban Country Club.

“As a youngster, I would go out on the golf course pretending to be playing in the SA Open with my friends, but when it actually happened it was something I wasn’t quite prepared for. The year I won it was an awesome field and I played incredibly well. That was something that made my victory so much more special.

“The thrill of lifting the national title was immense. Once your name is on that trophy, among those of some of the greatest players in the world, the thrill never goes away. You are forever part of history. I won other tournaments in South Africa, including the PGA Championship, and a couple in Europe, but none of them came close to the honour and thrill of winning the SA Open.”

And playing in 38 consecutive South African Open Championships is a record he is also proud of.

“At some point I suppose I will have to call it quits, but while I can still compete I will challenge. It’s such an honour as a past champion to still be able to play; after all, it’s our flagship event and it draws the best field. To be part of that is still an honour for me.”