Veteran Sunshine Tour campaigner, Ruan de Smidt, says the return of the Altron Big Easy Tour to the local golfing scene will not only help with the development of talent but will also help experienced players re-establish themselves and regain some competitive form.
“This is an exciting time for us players,” said De Smidt ahead of the first event of the revamped Atron Big Easy Tour at Blue Valley Golf Estate in Centurion which tees off today. “It’s exciting because the tour is run by the Sunshine Tour and that tells you the level of professionalism you can expect. This will be a good season for the guys who are trying to get back onto the main tour, so, it’s not just about it being a development tour but an important step in the right direction for local golf.”
Having welcomed the leading technology company, Altron, as its new title sponsor, the tour which was established as a developmental circuit will feature 10 professional tournaments to be played at venues across Gauteng this season, thereby ensuring more playing opportunities for the professional golfers.
Echoing De Smidt, Bloemfontein’s Makhetha Mazibuko says Altron’s investment into the tour and golf as a sport isn’t a coincidence given the growth that the Sunshine Tour has seen over the last few years, even against the backdrop of a pandemic that has ravaged the world.
“This is a good sponsorship for the Tour,” said Mazibuko, who is a product of development himself, having gone through the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation as a youngster, “because it means more competition for us players. When you look at the number of tournaments on the main Tour, and the co-sanctioned events, it tells you that there is growth by the tour and that’s why it’s easy to attract these kinds of sponsors.
“We as players are just glad that the tour is taking care of us this way; bringing us more opportunities to play. There are so many tournaments to play and that gives players a healthy headache because now there is a real schedule to plan your season around. So, we are glad to have Altron on board.”
The Big Easy Tour was founded in 2011 with support from Ernie Els and counts current international star Christiaan Bezuidenhout amongst its former Order of Merit winners.
By Matthews Mfubu (Fullpage Media and Communications)