Two Golfing Greats Make History with the Inaugural Friendship Cup at Copperleaf
Copperleaf was honoured to welcome two of the legends of golf on the weekend of January 7th and 8th for the first ever Friendship Cup. Ernie Els of course is no stranger to Copperleaf, having designed our ‘Signature’ course and when he joined forces with Sir Nick Faldo, something special was bound to occur. We’re thrilled to have been a part of establishing this wonderful event, which we know will go from strength to strength in the coming years. Don’t forget – you saw it here first!
Of all the golfers who have strolled across the perfect greens of the Copperleaf course, none are more well-known than course designer Ernie Els and his friend and fellow great, Sir Nick Faldo. Both were present at Copperleaf in early January for the first staging of their Friendship Cup.
Their stated aim was to give back to the sport by sponsoring the next generation of promising young golfers, but they achieved so much more than this. The tournament delivered a consistently high standard of golf, and showed just what a bright future golfers – and golf fans – can look forward to.
As the two teams from the players’ respective Foundations locked horns, the event built up to a nail-biting climax as South Africa’s Jovan Rebula just edged out England’s Harry Goddard. Rebula carded a 54-hole total of 208 – an excellent 8 under par performance that saw him claim his place at the BMW SA Open.
Sir Nick Faldo’s Faldo Series team through down a gauntlet for the future by winning the team prize with an overall score of 637 (11 under par). No doubt the presence of legendary players helped inspire tomorrow’s stars to up their game a level or two – that, and the promise of such an awesome prize.
Following the Friendship Cup, both teams attended the BMW SA Open Pro-Am to enjoy themselves and pick up more golfing tips. Golf is a sport with a long and distinguished history, and on the evidence of the golf we were privileged to witness here at the Els Club at Copperleaf, we can look forward to many more years of outstanding golf. Perhaps Jovan or Harry will go on to win a major one day? We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on their progress through the ranks!
In keeping with the spirit of the Friendship Cup, the players also took the opportunity to get out and about in Gauteng – the perfect opportunity to enjoy the contrasting districts of Soweto and Sandton, and make many more friends along the way. No doubt their enthusiasm helped inspire even more youngsters to get into golf.
Team members visited the Apartheid Museum and Nelson Mandela’s house, as well as having lunch with some of the generous sponsors of the event. The bravest even bungee-jumped from the Orlando Towers, an experience they jokingly described as less terrifying than fluffing a shot under the stern gaze of Sir Nick!