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BMG Highveld Classic Announcement (Sep 2008)


Exciting changes to the BMG Highveld Classic 2008


As part of its extensive and electrifying rebranding, Bearing Man has made some exciting changes to its signature sponsorship of the annual Sunshine Tour.


This year’s BMG Highveld Classic Pro-Am, the Sunshine Tour’s longest running Pro-Am, tees off on 8 and 9 October at the most unique golf course ever built in Gauteng, the Ebotse Golf & Country Estate course in Benoni.


Following 28 successful years at the Witbank Golf Club, the venue change will be accompanied by a change in the timing. This year the Pro-Am will be hosted prior to the professional Sunshine Tour, to allow the pros more time to interact with the players.


“The changes reflect and underpin our new corporate identity which will be revealed in September,” says BMG CEO, Charles Walters. “As Africa’s largest specialist distributor of bearings, seals, power transmission components, electric and geared motors, belting, fasteners and filtration, BMG will soon sport a bold new name and an exciting new logo and slogan.”


While this is an exciting time of change, some things never change. This includes the record high purse of R500 000 generously invested by title sponsor BMG, the format of 30 four-balls, each made up of three amateurs and one professional, the quality of the professionals participating in the Pro-Am, and the tournament’s reputation as a launch pad for rising stars.


Just some of the winners of this illustrious event include Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, John Bland, David Frost, Mark McNulty and Bobby Lincoln. In the last decade, the BMG Highveld Classic launched the international careers of players such as Darren Fichardt, Titch Moore and Bradford Vaughan. “On the course, BMG has been an integral part of the success of several players, and this reflects the integral part BMG plays in the success of their clients’ business off the course,” says Walters.


A design masterpiece by renowned golf architect Peter Matkovich, the Ebotse Golf & Country Estate golf course has seven holes on water and has been built to US PGA specifications with a 6372 metre par 72-rating (74 from back tees).


More than 2 million cubic metres of earth was moved to create a R60 million links course with spectacular features such as the 40 hectare lake and tee shots from heights of 25 metres. The short holes are another excellent feature. “Peter is renowned for his short-hole design. What he has created on Ebotse Golf & Country Estate is world ranking play without a doubt,” says Andy Bean, CEO of Matkovich & Hayes about the four short holes featured.


The winner of last year’s Pro-Am, Zimbabwe’s March Cayeux, claimed victory and his ninth win on the Sunshine Tour in 2007 with a sensational three-stroke victory over Ulrich van der Berg, shooting a final round 10 under par 62, while Cape Town pro Gerlou Roux, tied for fourth, removed himself from the game on the final day after discovering a slight bend in his putter.


This year’s Pro-Am promises to be just as riveting and golfers are invited to visit the Sunshine Tour website www.sunshinetour.com for the latest update on the tournament entries.