During May, disabled golfers from around the world assembled at Zwartkop Country Club in Pretoria, South Africa for the prestigious Nedbank Disabled Golf Open. The event is organised annually by the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA), of which Canon SA is a proud sponsor.
It was American Chad Pfeifer who shot a final round one-over-par 72, to win by one shot. Runner up was the 2014 champion from Canada, Josh Williams with Juan Postigo from Spain returning to take third place. Celebrating a tie in fourth place were Charl Theron from South Africa and Manuel de los Santos from the Dominican Republic.
This year’s event, held from 2 to 4 May 2016, was the 18th official SA Disabled Golf Open, and the 11th year that it has been staged in partnership with Nedbank. The international amateur event incorporates golfers of all disabilities, with 30% of the field boasting single figure handicaps and more than half boasting handicaps of under 18.
South Africans have historically dominated the tournament, with Ben van Zyl winning the event from 1998 to 2003; Pieter Jansen in 2004; Nico Wentzel in 2008; Iglin Grobler in 2009 and 2010, and Daniel Slabbert from 2011 to 2013, and again last year. SADGA, which hosts the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open annually, encourages South Africans with a permanent disability to play and enjoy golf at a social and competitive level.
Canon SA’s association with SADGA stems back to 2001 when the company sponsored a small prize for a golf tournament. Since then, its involvement with SADGA has continued to grow and blossom, with its support focusing specifically on SADGA’s First Swing initiative. The programme provides golf skills development training for children with disabilities.
In this year’s Nedbank SA Disabled Gold Open, there were nine competitors from the First Swing Programme, demonstrating the tremendous success of the initiative in developing disabled golfers.
‘Canon considers this to be an extremely worthy cause. SADGA provides great opportunities for them to learn the game of golf and participate in organised events and competitions where they get to pit their skills against other golfers,’ said Dana Eitzen, Corporate and Marketing Communications Executive at Canon SA. ‘We were thrilled to be part of the 2016 Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open again this year. It is heartening and gratifying to see these exceptional sportspeople excelling on the course, in particular those up and coming golfers from the First Swing programme.’