Aiken extends SA's winning run in Africa OpenThomas Aiken continued the proud tradition in the Africa Open when he defeated English rising star Oliver Fisher in a play-off at East London Golf Club to become the sixth South African to lift the prestigious title in February 2013.
The podium finish boosted Aiken's European Tour victories to three and the popular Johannesburg professional added his name to a prestigious list of home-grown past champions that include two-time Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner Darren Fichardt, 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, two-time US Open champion Retief Goosen and inaugural winner Shaun Norris.
From its humble beginning as a regular Sunshine Tour event in 2008, the Africa Open has blossomed to a fully co-sanctioned tournament with the European Tour.
The championship has enjoyed unwavering support from its sponsors, in particular from the principal supporters Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and the Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism Agency, since its inception. This sustained backing has seen the championship blossom and become one of the most prominent tournaments on the annual international golf schedule and one of the most esteemed tournaments on the African golfing calendar.
A proudly South African winner's list includes defending champion Thomas Aiken (2014), Darren Fichardt (2013), Louis Oosthuizen (2012 & 2011), Charl Schwartzel (2010), Retief Goosen (2009) and Shaun Norris (2008).
Not surprisingly, South Africa's unbroken record in the championship has added to the prestige and allure of the Africa Open. Although the players compete for the European Tour membership, world ranking points, Race to Dubai and Investec Cup points on offer, the chance to be the one to break the South African stranglehold in this premier championship has become the biggest draw card for the international players and rising stars who annually flock to the Eastern Cape.