The European Tour and the Sunshine Tour have announced the launch of a new partnership.
That’s as the two tours celebrate over 25 years of working together, which started with the first co-sanctioned tournament, the Lexington South African PGA Championship at the Wanderers Club in February 1995. Since then, the two tours have combined close to a hundred times.
The European Tour has committed to helping further develop the Sunshine Tour and improving the existing international pathway between the two tours, with a focus on two key areas.
The first of these is the fact that the South African Open Championship is guaranteed as a co-sanctioned tournament between the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour through 2025, with a minimum prize fund of $1.5 million (R21m) for this period. Further tournaments to fall under this new co-sanctioning agreement will be confirmed in due course.
The Challenge Tour will also benefit from the new partnership with a commitment to not only continue to stage the existing three Challenge Tour events in South Africa, but also to create several new co-sanctioned events which will feature on both the Challenge and Sunshine Tours.
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“For many years the European Tour has greatly valued the relationship we have enjoyed with the Sunshine Tour and today’s announcement is the next step in that journey together,” said Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour. “Through the leadership, vision and commitment of Chairman Johann Rupert, the Sunshine Tour has not only flourished and produced many of the game’s greats over decades, it is also part of the ecosystem that is at the very core of professional golf.”
“This partnership is an acknowledgement of the contribution that our Chairman Johann Rupert has made not only to the advancement of the Sunshine Tour and its legacy, as well as golf development, but also to the overall growth of the global game,” said Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour. “We are delighted with a partnership that recognizes South African golf’s place in the history of this great game, and which has been showcased through our long association with the European Tour. This partnership will open the door to even greater growth for our players.”
The PGA Tour – the European Tour’s Strategic Alliance partner – has made it clear that it is fully supportive of this new development in global golf.
“We are thrilled to see these two leading golf organizations come together for the benefit of the global game, players and fans,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “The European Tour and Sunshine Tour each have rich histories, celebrated events and a proven record of developing some of the world’s best players. This new partnership further illustrates the strengthening ecosystem of professional golf that we have all worked together to build for the betterment of the game.”