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New season, new name… same old frustrations.

The new-look DP World Tour – formerly the European Tour – has announced significant changes to its ‘African Swing’ amid concerns about a new COVID variant stemming from the continent.

This week’s Joburg Open will continue to go ahead as planned and will finish on Sunday as scheduled as a full co-sanctioned tournament between the DP World Tour and the Sunshine Tour.

• Two injured after pigs invade golf course

• Government mulling over Ryder Cup bid

South African Open Championship, to be played at the Gary Player
Country Club at Sun City from December 2-5, will also still be played as
scheduled. However, it will go ahead as a solely Sunshine Tour event
with a prize fund of $500 000.

After lengthy discussions, it has been decided that the Alfred Dunhill Championship, which was scheduled to be played at
Leopard Creek Country Club from December 9-12, has been cancelled.

This is due to
the adverse effect new travel restrictions will have on the field.

These measures follow the discovery of a new “very heavily mutated” COVID-19
variant in the southern parts of the African continent. The B.1.1.529
strain has caused significant concern, with some health experts
labelling it the “worst [variant] we’ve seen so far”.

• PGA Tour massively increases financial incentives

• OPINION – “Shaun Murphy wrong about amateurs”

a bid to contain the spread, flights to England from South Africa,
Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe will be suspended from
midday on Friday, with all six countries will be added to the red list.

Anyone arriving in the UK after 4am on Saturday, meanwhile, will need to stay at a managed quarantine hotel.

More than a dozen players based in the UK and Ireland withdrew from the Joburg Open ahead of today’s second round in a bid to get home before the restrictions come into effect.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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