Exciting new tournament set for SA if Els and Faldo have their way - Times LIVE
Sun May 28 22:07:29 SAST 2017

Exciting new tournament set for SA if Els and Faldo have their way

Liam Del Carme, at Glendower, Johannesburg | 2017-01-11 17:39:44.0
Ernie Els during the Practice Round of the 2017 BMW SA Open Championship at Glendower Golf Club on January 11, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image by: Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images

South Africa could play host to a tournament that will attract the cream of the globe's amateur talent if Ernie Els and Sir Nick Faldo have their way.

The two‚ who on friendly bases have an existing arrangement in which they assemble amateur golfers that square off against each other‚ are keen to expand their rivalry‚ but this time with global consequences.

“Ernie and I have been talking for a couple of years now of me bringing some kids down here to gain some experience‚” said Faldo at the SA Open Pro Am awards dinner.

“But the light bulb went on about a month ago.

"If I bring a team of four‚ Ernie brings a team of four and we invite Major champions past and present to put together teams as well we could have a tournament. It could be our goal for 2018‚” said the Englishman.

Said Els: “As Nick said we are going to keep going now and try and create something better with the help of Major champions like Darren Clarke.”

Faldo has already set wheels in motion. “We already got Rory (McIlroy)‚ I've got Henrik Stenson‚ I've got Annika Sorenstam to get us started.

“They'll send teams down - two boys‚ two girls and we are going to host this next year we hope.

“The players will represent their Major champion. So hopefully we'll have a Jordan Speith team‚ a Jason Day team‚ a Jack Nicklaus team.

"We'll invite 20 Major champions to send down a team and we could have handpicked the 80 best amateurs on the planet to play here next January. We could create a global amateur event.”

Of course SA Open main sponsors BMW already have a global amateur tournament of some stature.

But Faldo‚ with his range of influence as a six-time Major winner‚ commentator and pundit on the US PGA tour‚ could assemble not just the talent but the financial means to make the tournament work.

Els‚ who is much revered here as evidenced again at ProAm awards dinner‚ also has the clout to get the tournament off the ground on these shores.

- TMG Digital


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