Local golfers Brandon Stone, Tjaart van der Walt and Dean Burmester are each hoping to win the KLM Open and chase compatriot Sewsunker “Papwa” Sewgolum’s record.
The late Sewgolum is the only player to lift this Open’s trophy three times. The European Tour contest tees off at The Dutch in Spijk, Netherlands, on Thursday.
Sewgolum, who was from Durban, carved a niche for himself by being Mzansi’s first player of colour to win a provincial open.
He became a symbol of the sports boycott movement after receiving his trophy outdoors in the rain because apartheid law did not allow him to enter the clubhouse.
His victories were registered in Haagsche in 1959, and Eindhovensche in 1960 and 1964.
Other local golfers who won the contest include Bobby Locke (1939); Brian Wilkes (1961); Retief Waltman (1963); Hugh Baiocchi (1975); and Harold Henning in 1981.
Sid Brews was the only player who won the contest twice – in 1934 and 1935.
Stone, Van der Walt and Burmester will each have a big task on their shoulders next Sunday and in future editions if they hope to match Sewgolum’s achievement. It remains to be seen which of the three will triumph when the competition comes to an end.
Stone fought hard in the final round of the SA Open at Glendower Golf Club in Johannesburg to win his first European Tour title by two strokes in January last year.
His second big scalp was the Alfred Dunhill Championship, which he captured by six strokes in Malelane later that year.
Van der Walt took the Lion of Cape Town title by six strokes at Royal Cape Golf Club in 2013.
Burmester has won seven times in the Sunshine Tour, including the Tshwane Open – which he captured by three strokes at Pretoria Country Club in March.
Last year, the KLM Open was captured for the second time by Joost Luiten, who prevailed by three strokes.