Thursday, December 16

Golf Fix: 100th South African Open

IF YOU’RE A GOLF nut who can’t get enough golf on the tube, my tip is the 100th playing of the South African Open, this week’s event on the European Tour and Sunshine Tour. (The PGA and LPGA tours, of course, are idle. The Asian Tour is playing its season finale, the Black Mountain Masters, which is televised throughout Europe, Asia and Australia.)

Played at Durban Country Club, the South African Open field includes South African golf stars Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Tim Clark, Trevor Immelman and Louis Oosthizen, the current British Open champion. Thursday’s first round was delayed by heavy rain and will resume on Friday.

Dating back to 1903, the South African Open is one of the world’s oldest golf championships. (The oldest, of course, is the British Open, or The Open Championship, as non-Yanks call it.) Gary Player has won his homeland’s tournament 13 times. Player’s first victory came in 1956, the last in 1981. Fellow South African Bobby Locke won nine times from 1935 to 1955. Els has four South African Open titles. Goosen, Immelman and Clark have two wins apiece.

Els assessed his year and chance this week in his online diary.

“I came out of the blocks pretty fast and won twice in March during the Florida swing,” Ernie wrote, “but after the US Open my game went off the boil and it’s been a struggle to get things back on track. But, as I’ve said in my last few updates, during the last month or so there have been signs that the hard work I’ve put in has started to pay off. If I can roll the ball well on the greens this week, then I can finish the year on a high note and hopefully win my fifth national championship.”

2010 South African Open TV Schedule

All U.S. TV coverage is on Golf Channel.

Friday, 12/17
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Saturday, 12/18
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET

Sunday, 12/19
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM ET

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: Harry Lime/Flickr)

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