World’s richest golf tournament tees off

South Africa will stage the world’s richest and biggest golfing tournament in professional golf next year.

The major golfing championship called tournament of hope will be used to create awareness for HIV/Aids and poverty in Africa.

Sunshine Tour commissioner Gareth Tindall said at a news conference last week that “we’re hoping there will be other events around the world at the same time, with World Aids Day on December 1 linked to the same theme.

“We want to use this golf tournament as a catalyst.”

The prize money for the tournament is US$10-million (R69.7-million), making it the richest tournament worldwide.

“The awarding of this WGC [World Golf Championship] event shows the rest of the world believes we have good stock and a good product here in South Africa,” Tindall said.

The event will be hosted from 2012 to 2016. “That has enormously positive implications for the game and for our country as a whole,” said Tindall.

Head professional of Wits Golf Academy, Greg Smith, said: “It is early days to understand the full impact of this World Golf event.

“It is not yet absolutely definite, although talk is that the deal has been signed for five years.”

The event is expected to draw the world’s top 70 golfers.

The precise date and venue for the tournament have yet to be decided.