South African Dawie van der Walt, on Sunday, 3 March, was announced as the inaugural Tshwane Open winner for 2013. The executive mayor of the City of Tshwane, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, presented the tournament trophy to Van der Walt at the official prize-giving ceremony at the course's 18th hole.
The two runners-up are also both from South Africa: Tshwane-resident Darren Fichardt and Louis de Jager. Go to www.sunshinetour.com for the full results.
The announcement of the winner followed the minister of sport and recreation, Fikile Mbalula, congratulating the city for hosting a successful event as part of a visit to Copperleaf on Sunday.
"The City of Tshwane is overwhelmed and honoured by the immense support and fantastic exposure the first ever Tshwane Open has received from media worldwide. Global awareness of the city, gained through the tournament, is of crucial importance to delivering our objectives to increase tourism and stimulate stronger business - and investment opportunities, and this Sunshine- and European Tour co-sanctioned tournament has delivered on all the fronts we had hoped for," said executive mayor for the City of Tshwane, Kgosientso Ramokgopa.
Beginning of a three-year partnership
"We are also realistic about the fact that this is the beginning of a three-year partnership. The foundations have been laid and patience is required to effectively develop the partnership, as well as taking crucial notes on how we can further improve our strategies to increase public support, and subsequent revenue for the tournament. This in turn would afford us with even more opportunities to establish development and other youth-focused programs to utilise the sport as a medium to uplift our communities," the mayor concluded.
Minister Mbalula conveyed his excitement regarding the development initiatives launched by the Tshwane Open. These include a golf programme for underprivileged schools in Tshwane's seven regions and the launch of a caddy society. "We must find the untapped talent in our schools and ensure that these individuals are developed to their full potential," maintained Mbalula.
The City of Tshwane also reaffirmed its stance on the Tshwane Open golf tournament being "more than just golf". The city has pledged donations from ticket sales for the tournament to two NGOs dedicated to the elderly and disabled.
The Tshwane Open took place at the Els Club Copperleaf in Centurion from 28 February to 3 March 2013.