R&A establishes African Amateur Championship; winner to receive Open invite

R&A establishes African Amateur Championship; winner to receive Open invite
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HOYLAKE, England – The R&A has created a new amateur event in Africa that will award a spot in next year’s Open Championship.

Leopard Creek in South Africa will host the inaugural African Amateur Championship, scheduled for Feb. 21-24, 2024. The course has been the longtime host of the DP World Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship.

The new men’s event will feature 72 amateurs from the African region, with the winner receiving an exemption into the Open Championship later that summer at Royal Troon.

Unlike the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship and the Latin America Amateur Championship – the other amateur tournaments organized by golf’s major organizations – the African event will be run strictly by the R&A. The goal remains the same, however: to create a pathway for African golfers to compete at the highest level.

“It’s a hugely exciting initiative for African golf,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said, “and it’s the last part of the continent around the world where we don’t have our own championships that we now do.”

Eighteen players in this year’s Open field were former participants in the last 10 editions of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, while two once competed in the Latin American event. This year’s British Amateur champion, Christo Lamprecht, hails from South Africa.

“We are creating a world-class platform for the most talented amateur golfers in Africa to compete against each other and realize their ambitions in the sport,” Slumbers said.

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