Sunshine Tour

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Sunshine Tour
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2016 Sunshine Tour
Formerly Sunshine Circuit,
South African Tour,
Southern Africa Tour
Sport Golf
Founded Late 1960s / early 1970s (rebranded as the Sunshine Tour in 2000)
Countries  Mauritius
 Namibia
 South Africa
 Swaziland
 Zambia
 Zimbabwe
Most titles South Africa Gary Player (73)
TV partner(s) SuperSport
Official website SunshineTour.com

The Sunshine Tour is a men's professional golf tour based in Southern Africa. For much of its history it was known either as the South African Tour or the FNB Tour, but it rebranded itself in an attempt to broaden its appeal. A large majority of the tour events are still staged in South Africa.

The tour is one of the six leading men's tours which before 2009 made up the membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, but it offers much less prize money than some of the leading tours, and leading Southern African golfers always prefer to play on the PGA Tour or the European Tour if they can qualify to do so, typically returning to play in Sunshine Tour events a couple of times a year.

Most of the tour's leading official money events, including the South African Open, are co-sanctioned with the European Tour to attract stronger fields. The 2015 season included 27 official money events. The co-sanctioned events had purses ranging from 1 million to $6.5 million, while the other 21 events had purses designated in South African Rand and ranging from 650,000 rand to 4.5 million rand. There was at least one tournament every month of the year except July, but the main events took place in the South African summer from November to February.

The tour has been open to non-White players since 1991. The first three Black winners were John Mashego at the 1991 Bushveld Classic, Lindani Ndwandwe at the 2001 Western Cape Classic and Tongoona Charamba at the 2006 SAA Pro-Am Invitational.[1]

In 2016, the Sunshine Tour announced an affiliation with the MENA Golf Tour, allowing the top five MENA Tour players Sunshine Tour cards and those 6th-15th into the final stage of Q School. A number of events would also be co-sanctioned among the Sunshine Tour, MENA Tour, and developmental Big Easy Tour.

Schedule[edit]

Main article: 2016 Sunshine Tour

The Sunshine Tour consists of two distinct parts, commonly referred to as the "Summer Swing" and "Winter Swing". Tournaments held during the Summer Swing generally have much higher prize funds and attract stronger fields. The Winter Swing runs from March to November, dividing the Summer Swing in two.

Tournament prize funds do not count directly towards the Order of Merit. The richest events on the tour are those that are co-sanctioned with the European Tour.

Order of Merit winners[edit]

The winner of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit is awarded the Sid Brews Trophy. The Order of Merit winners are shown below. Players are required to play in a minimum number of tournaments (eight in 2013) to qualify for the Order of Merit. As the richest events on the tour (those co-sanctioned by the European Tour) tend to be won by players who don't play enough events to qualify, in recent years the Order of Merit winner has often not actually been the player who won most money in Sunshine Tour sanctioned events. The winner of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit also earns entry into The Open Championship.

This list is incomplete.
Season Player Country Earnings (R)
2015 George Coetzee  South Africa 5,470,684
2014 Thomas Aiken  South Africa 4,057,642
2013 Dawie van der Walt  South Africa 5,094,333
2012 Branden Grace  South Africa 2,760,319
2011 Garth Mulroy  South Africa 3,464,463
2010 Charl Schwartzel  South Africa 5,097,914
2009 Anders Hansen  Denmark 4,286,038
2008 Richard Sterne  South Africa 5,599,265
2007 James Kingston  South Africa 1,980,689
2006/07 Charl Schwartzel  South Africa 1,585,117
2005/06 Charl Schwartzel  South Africa 1,207,460
2004/05 Charl Schwartzel  South Africa 1,635,850
2003/04 Darren Fichardt  South Africa 726,545
2002/03 Trevor Immelman  South Africa 2,044,280
2001/02 Tim Clark  South Africa 1,669,901
2000/01 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe 1,603,481
1999/00 Darren Fichardt  South Africa 558,735
1998/99 David Frost  South Africa 1,189,762
1997/98 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe 589,053
1996/97 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe 556,227
1995/96 Wayne Westner  South Africa 709,389
1994/95 Ernie Els  South Africa 460,488
1993/94 Tony Johnstone  Zimbabwe 297,359
1992/93 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe 250,079
1991/92 Ernie Els  South Africa
1990/91 John Bland  South Africa
1989/90 John Bland  South Africa
1988/89 Tony Johnstone  Zimbabwe
1987/88 John Bland  South Africa
1986/87 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe
1985/86 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe
1984/85 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe
1983/84 Gavan Levenson  South Africa
1982/83 Nick Price  Zimbabwe
1981/82 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe
1980/81 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe
1979/80 Gary Player  South Africa
1978/79 Hugh Baiocchi  South Africa
1977/78 John Bland  South Africa
1976/77 Gary Player  South Africa
1975/76 Allan Henning  South Africa
1974/75 Allan Henning  South Africa
1973/74 Hugh Baiocchi  South Africa
1972/73 Bobby Cole  South Africa

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Charamba rewrites history at SAA Pro-Am Invitational". Sunshine Tour. 22 May 2006. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 

External links[edit]