Four days of spectacular and nail-biting golf action came to an end at the Els Club Copperleaf in Centurion on Sunday, 3 March 2013. South African Dawie van der Walt, who outwitted his rivals in a closely competed tournament, was announced as the winner of the inaugural Tshwane Open tournament for 2013.
Van der Walt finished on 21 under 267 total, two shots ahead of Darren Fichardt in second in the co-sanctioned European and Sunshine Tour event.With the win, Van der Walt gains a European Tour exemption until the end of 2015.
Tshwane resident Darren Fichardt and Louis de Jager sealed the City’s – and indeed the country’s – moment of pride when they were announced as the two runners-up.
The Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane, Kgosientso Ramokgopa, alongside the Minister in the Presidency, Collins Chabane, and City Manager Jason Ngobeni presented the tournament trophy to Van der Walt at the official prize-giving ceremony at the course’s 18th hole.
The announcement of the winner follows Minister of Sport and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula, congratulating the City for hosting a successful event. Mbalula conveyed his excitement about the development initiatives launched by the Tshwane Open. These include a golf programme for underprivileged schools in Tshwane 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,” Mbalula said.
Expressing his views on hosting the inaugural tournament in the capital city, Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said that he is overwhelmed and honoured by the immense support and fantastic exposure the City has received from media all over the world. Global awareness of Tshwane is crucial to delivering the City’s objectives to increase tourism and stimulate stronger business and investment opportunities. The Executive Mayor also stated that the Tshwane Open tournament, which was co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and European Tour, has delivered on all the fronts that were hoped for.
The City of Tshwane has always maintained that the Tshwane Open tournament is about “more than just golf”. And to put its money where its mouth is, the City has pledged a total of R60 000 to two non-governmental organisations that assist the elderly and disabled. The Makabongwe Home in Atteridgeville, which takes care of disabled children, will receive R30 000 to help them to obtain new wheelchairs and basic necessities. The other R30 000 donated by the City will go to Badirammogo Old Age Home in Olievenhoutbosch.