A round of applause goes to Team South Africa who has successfully defended their title and secured a second home victory at the 20th commemorative World Golfers Championship, which was played in KwaZulu-Natal from 29 October to 7 November.
After leading the field from the outset, Team South Africa played a consistent and confident game across the 72-holes of the championship finishing on 1137 nett, 12 shots ahead of Singapore in 2nd place on 1149 nett. Team USA claimed 3rd place, just 4 shots further down the field on 1153 nett. Following the last trophy on the podium were the Eastern teams Vietnam in 4th place on 1165 nett with China a close one shot behind on 1166 nett in 5th place.
“This year’s World Final saw very competitive golf being played by all 45 countries that competed for both the Championship and Invitational titles,” commented Arthur Mzimela, Captain of Team South Africa.
In the Invitational, Team Malaysia3 took 1st place on the podium after moving up the field to take the lead from Poland and finish 9 shots ahead on 568 nett. Team USA also pushed their way through from 3rd up to a 2nd place finish on 577 nett with the team from Poland finishing 3rd just 3 shots behind on 580 nett. Off the podium and securing a 4th place finish was the Austria/Malaysia partnership on 584 nett with Caribbean Island1 in 5th place 2 shots behind on 586 nett.
Isac Saminathan from Malaysia and Sweden’s Patrik Hogland shared the title in the Sven Tumba Classic, which was a once off commemorative tournament played over 2 days at Prince’s Grant Golf Estate and Beachwood Country Club.
A total donation of R200 000, that included proceeds from the Classic tournament, was made to the Sven Tumba Fund, which supports five disadvantaged schools in KwaZulu-Natal. This included a R50 000 donation made to the Ohlange High school in Inanda where the late former president Nelson Mandela cast his first vote.
In a further tribute to WGC founder, the Sven Tumba Spirit Trophy went to Team Slovakia for their passion and comaraderie throughout the tournament.
The Championship ended on a high note for Spanish golfer, Jesus Gomez, whose final shot of the tournament was a hole-in-one on the 9th at Mt Edgecombe Country Club Course1.
“The 20th commemorative World Final has been an action-packed 10-day celebration of world-class golf and topnotch gala events that formed a platform for golfers from all over the world to forge new friendships and take advantage of global business networking opportunities,” said Craig Clay-Smith, spokesperson for World Golf Events South Africa, the SA event owners and organisers.
The national pride of the golfers as ambassadors for their country combined with the prestige of competing in a tournament with a 20-year history could be felt from tee-off to the final putt. Durban Country Club, Umhlali Country Club, Selborne Park Golf Club and Mount Edgecombe Country Club Course 1 played their part in delivering a memorable world-class golfing experience that showcased to the world why KwaZulu-Natal is a sought after golfing destination.
“It has also been very exciting to see the high calibre of golf played and the growing number of younger entrants to the competition, which endorses the prestige of World Golfers Championship as the sought after amateur golfing title,” added Craig Clay-Smith.
Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs KZN, said, “This year’s championship coincides with our country’s celebration of twenty years of a democratic rule. The theme for this year Democracy, Sport, Friendship and Business is particularly befitting the occasion and this tournament is therefore in line with our vision to promote economic development, especially through the tourism and hospitality sector”.
Beverley Theron, Event Managing Executive of World Golf Events South Africa, concluded, “The investment to golf tourism in the country by golfers competing in the World Final is close on R300 million over the past four years. We are proud to have hosted the 20th anniversary World Final back in KwaZulu-Natal for the fourth consecutive year, which showcases to the world our province’s ability to stage world-class sporting events”.