Daily Maverick (Johannesburg)

21 November 2013

South Africa: SA Open - Still a Quality Field Despite Star Withdrawals

analysis

At the start of the week, the presence of defending champion Henrik Stenson, the hottest golfer on the planet right now, seemed a tremendous coup for the organisers of the South African Open that starts at Glendower Golf Club in Bedfordview this morning.

Sadly, Stenson will be a non-starter due to an injured wrist which he managed to play through in his epic victory at the World Tour Championship, sealing an historic Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup double on either side of the Atlantic, but he has understandably decided not to risk further damage and withdrew from the SA Open on Monday.

Apart from the hammering his body took, his mental fatigue must also be great, considering the pressure-filled, hectic end to the season he has just been through.

Much to the frustration of the organisers, the withdrawals have been coming thick and fast with the tournament also losing another Swedish star in Robert Karlsson, local favourites Louis Oosthuizen and Richard Sterne, and rising English star Danny Willett.

But the field is still a quality one and there is no greater threat than Charl Schwartzel, the highest-ranked South African golfer and someone who is eager to...

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