GEORGE (25 September 2012) – The final tournament on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour, South African professional golf’s biggest series, tees off at The Links at Fancourt this week with the ultimate prize on offer to the amateur golfers in the field – the chance to play golf with Retief Goosen.
Since May, the Vodacom Origins of Golf pro-am series has travelled around South Africa to the top courses in the country, with invited amateurs partnering the Sunshine Tour’s professionals at each event.
The top 10 amateurs from each of the previous five tournaments have all qualified for this week’s final at The Links.
And while the professionals are playing for a first-place cheque of R95 100, the amateurs are vying for the honour of a round of golf with Goosen.
Goosen’s career has been the theme of this year’s series, which has been dubbed “The Goose Chase”. The double US Open champion was set to be at The Links this week before his back surgery scuppered those plans.
However, Goosen has committed to a round of golf with the winning amateur as soon as he is fit again.
“I had planned to attend the Final of the Vodacom Origins of Golf, and was really looking forward to meeting the amateurs who qualified,” Goosen said.
“My back surgery obviously meant I couldn’t travel. But I’ve arranged with SAIL, the tournament organisers, that the winning amateur be flown to England and we’ll play a round of golf together when I’m fit again, and on a golf course of my choosing.”
It ranks as the biggest prize ever offered on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour, which first teed off on the Sunshine Tour in 2004.
“We’ve been fortunate to partner with the very best of South African golf over the years, having paid tribute to the careers of Gary Player, Ernie Els and now Retief Goosen. But getting the opportunity to play with Retief definitely rates as the most magnificent prize we’ve ever offered, and I’m pretty certain that the amateurs will give it their all to take full advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Thomas Abt, head of golf at SAIL.
The professional field this week includes multiple European Tour winner Branden Grace, European Tour campaigner George Coetzee, and three of this year’s five champions on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour in Trevor Fisher Jnr, Allan Versfeld and Bryce Easton.