Caddie Describes Brutal Journey Back To The UK After Joburg Open Nightmare

Check out the brutal journey Andrew Wilson and Connor Winstanley had to make after a nightmarish Joburg Open.

Joburg Open Journey
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We all have stories of nightmare journeys with flights. However, I doubt they are as bad as DP World Tour player, Andrew Wilson, and his caddie, Connor Winstanley, who endured a brutal trip back from Johannesburg over the weekend.

For a bit of context, a new Covid variant was discovered in South Africa, with subsequent travel restrictions being put into place by the UK, as well as countries like Germany and Italy. This meant that players from the UK would have to return before 4am on Sunday morning, otherwise they would be made to quarantine in a hotel at their own cost.

Understandably, a number of players pulled out on Friday morning so they could return before the deadline. Among those players was Andrew Wilson, a former EuroPro Tour winner.

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Joburg Open Journey

Wilson was part of the 20 graduate players to earn their DP World Tour cards for 2022.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Waking up at 4.30am to the news that South Africa was going onto a travel red list, the duo of Wilson and Winstanley headed to the golf course to announce their withdrawal from the event. 

What happened next can only be described as traumatic! Check out a thread of Winstanley's journey below. 

Joburg Open Journey

The 39-hour journey from Johannesburg to London

(Image credit: Twitter - @conwinny)

After driving to a Covid testing facility at 6.20am, the duo booked out of their hotel and headed to the airport, eventually arriving at 8.30am.

Only half an hour later though, the pair would be turned away from a flight, with a search for other ways out of Johannesburg leading to, as Winstanley put it, a 'head off.'  They were eventually saved though, and I imagine they owe 'Alex @ Rocketyard Sports' a beer or two, as he managed to 'pluck them a flight from nowhere.'

Arriving in Nairobi at 5.45pm, the duo were then treated to a seven-hour stop over before travelling to Doha, Qatar, arriving at 6.45am, a full 24 hours after their announcement to withdraw from the tournament.

Another tiresome wait was then endured, with nine agonising hours passing before they got on the flight from Doha to London, arriving on Saturday night at 8pm, a full 39 hours after leaving South Africa.

Although the pair endured a torturous journey, they did arrive before the 4am deadline, with Winstanley understandably gutted to miss out on three tournament weeks in South Africa. However, the caddie did feel fortunate, revealing that some friends are still stuck in the country and are now having to look at quarantine options to get home.  

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.