BMW South Africa Open 2018

 The 2018 Race to Dubai

he 2018 Race to Dubai continues at the Glendower Golf Club, as the first tournament of the calendar year, the BMW South Africa Open, hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni, takes place during 11 – 14 Jan 2018.

This is the second oldest national Open in the world, dating back to 1893 when it was played as an exhibition in Port Elizabeth. Only The Open, which was first played in 1860, is older.

Graeme Storm arrives looking to defend his title after beating Rory McIlroy in a play-off to win the 2017 BMW SA Open.

That victory came just 84 days after Storm thought he had lost his European Tour card after missing a par putt on the 18th green at the Portugal Masters. However, he was handed a reprieve when Patrick Reed opted not to play the Final Series.

South African legend and four-time Major winner, Ernie Els, leads a strong home challenge this year.

Els will be looking to win the title for a sixth time, the last win being in the 2011 season when the tournament was played in December 2010.

If Els wins, he would become the fourth most prolific winner of the event, behind Gary Player. Player has won it a record 13 times, Bobby Locke nine times and Sid Brews, a winner on eight occasions.

Other South Africans with a big chance of winning include two-time U.S. Open champion, Retief Goosen, and Masters Tournament winners Charl Schwartzel and Trevor Immelman.

2016 champion Brandon Stone is also in the field, but it is countryman Branden Grace who goes in to the competition as favourite.

If the title is won again by an overseas player, perhaps England’s James Morrison has the best chance of the tourists. He boasts some of the strongest course form in the declared field and is a regular contender in South Africa. A strong finish at the end of last season gives him obvious claims.