Cape Town - South Africa boasts a proud history at the Joburg Open, with the 12th edition set to take place this week at Randpark Golf Club.
This is the first time the Joburg Open has taken place in December and also the first time the tournament has taken place twice in the same calendar year. The 2017 edition took place back in February with Darren Fichardt victorious.
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Of the 11 editions of the Joburg Open since 2007, eight winners have hailed from home soil, with Richard Sterne (2), Charl Schwartzel (2), Branden Grace, George Coetzee, Haydn Porteous and Fichardt having all lifted aloft the coveted trophy.
With Schwartzel not competing this week, Sterne will attempt to become the first player to win the Joburg Open three times, having triumphed in 2008 and 2013. Four of his six European Tour titles have come on home soil, including his last four.
South African golfers have enjoyed regular success at home in European Tour events - four of the five events in South Africa in the 2017 season were won by home players: the Alfred Dunhill Championship (Brandon Stone), Joburg Open (Fichardt), Tshwane Open (Dean Burmester) and Nedbank Golf Challenge (Grace).
Following Dylan Frittelli's victory at the Mauritius Open last week, if a South African were to win this week it would be the first time two South Africans have triumphed in consecutive weeks on the European Tour since January 2016, when Stone won the SA Open before Porteous triumphed at the Joburg Open.
The Joburg Open remains the only South African tournament serving as an official qualifier for the world's oldest national Open, The Open Championship, with the top three finishers receiving qualification into next year's tournament at Carnoustie.
Super excited to defend my title this week @JoburgOpen_ @RandparkGolf @EuropeanTour @Sunshine_Tour— Darren Fichardt (@Darrenfichardt1) December 4, 2017