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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The First ET Event of 2020

Just like the PGA Tour, the European Tour is staging its first full field event of the new year -- the new decade! -- but it's on the other side of the world, in the City of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Defending champion Louis Oosthuizen

The South African Open is the second oldest national Open in golf; only THE OPEN is older. It became part of the ET schedule back in 1997, and since then South Africans have won it 13 of 23 times.

Similar to many other events on the PGA and European Tours, both of Randpark Golf Club's 18-hole courses -- Firethorn at 7506 yards and Bushwillow at 7114, both par-71s -- will be used for the first two rounds, with those who make the cut playing the final two rounds on Firethorn. Last year it was Louis Oosthuizen who survived the test, and he's looking to go back-to-back this week after a strong showing at the Presidents Cup.

One important note: The South African Open is part of the Open Qualifying Series. The three leading finishers in the Top10 who haven't already qualified will get spots in the oldest Open in the world, at Royal St George’s this July. So there's a lot on the line for players this week.

GC's live coverage begins Thursday morning at 5am ET. It looks to be a strong start to the 2020 ET schedule.

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