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23rd November 2022 | Big Easy Tour

Nethunzwi motivated to inspire local youngsters with Joburg Open showing

Member of the Papwa Sewgolum Class, Musiwalo Nethunzwi, will be playing his sixth Joburg Open this week and says his only motivation is to inspire township kids who wish to reach the heights he has.

A resident of Soweto and a known figure in and around the City of Joburg, Nethunzwi boasts two appearances as an amateur in this tournament while his other four starts came after he turned pro.

This season’s edition of the tournament, co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and the DP World Tour, is being held at Houghton Golf Club in Johannesburg, a layout Nethunzwi is all too familiar with. He has some good results at this track, albeit on the Altron Big Easy Tour, the Sunshine Tour’s development circuit which enjoys the support of Ernie Els among other patrons.

“I’m happy with where I am at right now,” said Nethunzwi during his practice round on Wednesday. “I know what lies ahead because I have played this tournament five times before and it’s one of my favourites. I am also happy to have received messages of support and good luck from some youngsters from Soweto and other townships around Joburg. It means they are inspired by my work and this week will give me the motivation to do well so that even those who follow in our footsteps can know that it is possible to compete at a high level such at this tournament.

“I’ve been getting calls from young people and old people, so it means I have a responsibility to myself and to the people who support me. I have played this course and I have a few good results here, so it is going to be an interesting week because there are good players here. I just want to work hard and enjoy the week.”

Nethunzwi is one of 15 members of the Papwa Sewgolum Class who are in the field and having witnessed two members of that class (Dylan Naidoo and Fezekile Kana) claim victories on Tour this season, he is quietly confident ahead of the start.

“It’s cool to have members of the Papwa Class competing at these big events,” noted Nethunzwi who is a member of Soweto Country Club. “There have been good performances by the guys and they all deserve success. A win for any of the guys this week will open a lot of doors, and even for guys who are in the townships.”

Having grown up in and around the City of Joburg, Nethunzwi is better placed to appreciate the effect and impact the Joburg Open has had on the ordinary people in the streets.

“This tournament is important to the people of this city and it has done a lot of positive things to uplift the City. Joburg is a special place and those of us who live here, are proud to be associated with the Joburg Open.”

The Joburg Open was launched in 2007 as a Sunshine Tour event and has since become a permanent fixture on the schedule. Since 2017, the event has been co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour and has been the start of the Qualifying Series for The Open Championship.

Showcasing the heart of Johannesburg, a World Class African City, the Joburg Open has become a favourite among both players and fans. The event has been won by both local and international golfers, including Branden Grace, Anders Hansen, Charl Schwartzel, Joachim B. Hansen, and George Coetzee.

This year’s defending champion is South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence.