The European Tour returns to South Africa this week for the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. Home player George Coetzee is the defending champion.

Lowdown:
The European Tour returns to South Africa this week for the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. Home player George Coetzee is the defending champion.

First played on the European Tour back in 2007, this event is co-sanctioned with the South African Sunshine Tour. Since its inclusion on the European Tour schedule, it’s been won six times by home players with Richard Sterne and Charl Schwartzel both taking the title twice. The other champions have been Ariel Canete, Anders Hansen and Branden Grace.

Last year, George Coetzee fired a closing round of 66 to claim his first European Tour victory, after 24 previous top-10 finishes on the circuit. The South African is looking forward to defending the title.

“I have always enjoyed the event and the venue. It’s close to where I live, so I can stay at home and enjoy it, plus the two golf courses really suit my eye having played them a lot over the years,” he said. “My swing is starting to click and get a lot more consistent. I am picking up form slowly and hopefully that continues to pick up to the point where I am standing with that trophy in my hands again on Sunday night.”

Also in the field this week is newly named 2016 Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke. He’s hoping the new role will inspire him to better results in 2015.