DP World Tour Endures Nightmare Start Due To New Covid Variant Discovery In South Africa

The Alfred Dunhill Championship has been cancelled, with the South African Open Championship becoming solely a Sunshine Tour event.

DP World Tour Nightmare Start
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour announced on Friday afternoon that there would be changes to the current Summer Swing of co-sanctioned tournaments in South Africa. The country has been placed on the travel red list following concerns around a new COVID-19 variant.

Under the circumstances, the Joburg Open, currently being played at Randpark Golf Club, will go ahead as planned and will finish on Saturday, allowing non-South African resident players, caddies and tournament support staff return to their home countries.

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

Unfortunately, the Alfred Dunhill Championship, which was scheduled to be played at Leopard Creek Country Club from the 9th -12th December, has been cancelled due to the adverse affect the travel restrictions will have on the field.

Following the withdrawal of many players from the UK and Ireland on Friday morning due to South Africa being placed on the UK government's travel red list, a number of countries have followed, with Germany and Italy joining the UK in imposing travel bans after a new Covid-19 variant was discovered.

It has been a nightmare start for the rebranded DP World Tour, with the remainder of 2021 essentially cancelled.

As the year ends, the Tour will hope for a less chaotic start to 2022, with the first event expected to be the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the 20th - 23rd January.

DP World Tour Nightmare Start

Tyrrell Hatton will be hoping to defend his title at the end of January.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This will be taking place at a new venue for the Tour, Yas Links, where both Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa will be playing.

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.