"It’s sad to lose Madiba, not only for South Africa, but for the world. He was such a great man and did so many great things for humanity. He was someone to look up to. He’s passed away, but I’m sure he’s looking down on us and making sure that we stay on track"

- SERGIO GARCIA

"We have lost one of the iconic leaders of our time. You cannot say anything bad about the man. He fought for what he believed in, went to prison for so many years and came out to lead our country up until now. He was the father of our country and our continent. It’s just very sad that he had to go. He was 95 and led a full life but a lot of that wasn’t spent on what he was so good at because he was away for so many years. He was just the most amazing person I have ever met. He was our President and the man who changed our lives. It could have been so different in South Africa but he kept his head and kept everyone going forward. I was in the Air Force when the ANC was banned. I remember those days in the 1980s when the Government was against the ANC. You know, they were our enemies. And then President Mandela comes in and takes over the country and leads it in a democratic way. He was an unbelievable guy and the guys who lived in that generation will really miss him."

- ERNIE ELS

"Nelson Mandela said at the Laureus Sports Awards that sport could change the world. Well, he changed our country, and he showed just how sport could participate in that change. We mourn his passing with his family and with our country, and we salute the part he played in changing the world."

- SELWYN NATHAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SUNSHINE TOUR

"Nelson Mandela showed his common touch during Rugby World Cup 1995, and in golf, we have felt that common touch too – he made a point of congratulating our players who achieved major successes personally, and that kind of attention doesn’t go unappreciated. We will forever be grateful for what he did for our country and for our sport."

- ALAN MICHELL, CHAIRMAN SUNSHINE TOUR PLAYERS’ COMMITTEE

"We’ve been expecting it, but it doesn’t make it any easier. The country is definitely going to mourn him, and it will always miss him."

- LOUIS OOSTHUIZEN

"It’s a sad, sad day, not only for us, but also for the whole world. He was a true inspiration. He was one of the people I would truly have loved to have met."

- BRANDEN GRACE

"We’ve lost our biggest hero. He went through so much, so in a way, it’s good that he’s at peace now."

- RICHARD STERNE

"The world has lost a great person. Nelson Mandela was an inspiration not only to South Africans but the world over. I remember the very first time I met Mandela, which was in 2002, and the first thing he said when he came into the room was “Where’s the Goose?”, and he came over and shook my hand. He will be sadly missed and long may his beliefs and values continue."

- RETIEF GOOSEN

"I think our country lost a real‑life hero. He was probably one of the best people I've ever seen. I don’t think our country will ever have a leader like him again."

- JBE KRUGER

Dawie makes his own magic for Madiba title


DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (14 December 2013) – It was always going to be a special week. But Dawie van der Walt had no idea it would be this special.

With a final round of 66, Van Der Walt won the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa on a 54-hole total of 15 under par at Mount Edgecombe Country Club on Saturday. He finished two strokes clear of Matthew Baldwin and Jorge Campillo, and claimed his second victory on the European Tour this year after winning the Tshwane Open early in 2013.

With his victory he also won the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, overtaking Darren Fichardt in the final tournament of the season.

It was an incredible finish to a year which began so promisingly for him when he won his first European Tour event, and which then hit rock bottom in the middle when an ankle injury combined with poor form for the worst few months of his career.

Van Der Walt came into this tournament hoping to just find his game and play half decent golf. And as has been the case with the entire country, he found a world of inspiration in chasing a title that, finishing on the eve of the state funeral of Nelson Mandela, will always be a historic one.

“This is so small compared to what Nelson Mandela did,” Van Der Walt said. “But it makes it a little more special. You can win the Nelson Mandela Championship in 10 years time, but this one will always be a special one.”

He and his wife, Bobby-Jo, had spoken of how significant it would be for him to win this event at such a critical time in South Africa’s history.

“We just knew it would be special for him to win it. Dawie kept telling me how much he wanted to do it,” she said, recalling how she first learnt of the story of Nelson Mandela in a Louisiana school classroom and never imagining it would ever coincide with this day.

For Van Der Walt, the victory was a justification on so many levels. “Winning once is great, but to be able to win again justifies that I can do it. You feel like you belong.”

It was also justification that he could pick himself up from the lowest point in his career. “I was feeling so confident after I won Tshwane Open, then I went to Europe and I struggled because my expectations were high but my game wasn’t quite there. Then I went back to America and I sprained my ankle. It put my golf swing in positions I didn’t like because I was compensating for it. But I had to keep pushing. What other choice do you have? This is my job. There was a lot of hard work, a lot of analysing your swing, and sleepless nights and trying to figure out where I went wrong. I was finishing last in tournaments. But I just didn’t give up.”

With his victory came a prized artwork of Mandela and bearing his signature. “It’s very unique and I’ll put it where I can see it a lot and it can remind me of a time in my career when I was down and I got back up.”

After finishing off the suspended second round earlier on Saturday, Van Der Walt had about three hours to kill before the start of the third and final round.

He found a corner in the lockerroom and had a sleep.

When he woke up, the dream was only beginning.

Young stars given chance to shine in Nelson Mandela Championship


DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (13 December 2013) – In Germany he’s known as “Das Wunderkind”, but the nickname given to 16-year-old amateur sensation Dominic Foos could just as easily apply to the group of five young golfers who were invited to compete in this week’s Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa.

Foos is joined at Mount Edgecombe by South African amateurs Thriston Lawrence and Louis Taylor as well as rookie professionals Brandon Stone and Haydon Porteous for this European Tour and Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned tournament.

Their presence in the field is a direct commitment to the youth of golf through the vision of Mandela to uplift all youth, and the commitment of this tournament to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

All five golfers are seen as future champions, with Stone and Porteous both campaigning through invitations on the European Tour this season following impressive amateur careers; while Taylor recently finished as the leading amateur in the South African Open; Lawrence became the youngest winner of the Sanlam SA Amateur Open at 16 years, two months and 26 days; and Foos has risen to become Germany’s top-ranked amateur golfer and the number one under-15 golfer in the world. Foos finished tied 39th in last year’s Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa, shooting rounds of 64 and 65 in the 36-hole tournament, making him the youngest golfer to finish in the top-40 on the European Tour.

All have a story not unfamilair to the likes of respected PGA Tour coach Mark Immelman, the older brother of former Masters champion Trevor Immelman. Immelman is back in South Africa caddying for Sunshine Tour professional Andrew Georgiou, and has been impressed with the young talent he’s seen.

“I think what’s struck me the most is how young they are and also how mature they are. The young golfers on the Sunshine Tour are so much more professional about their craft. They’re working hard, and it confirms my belief that most of them can compete anywhere in the world,” said Immelman.

If he could give one piece of technical advice to the five young golfers playing in terms of what will get them to the PGA Tour one day, Immelman singles out the short game. “You need to be so good with a wedge and putter from inside 100 yards to make it on the PGA Tour.”

Stone in particular has caught Immelman’s eye. “Brandon is a really good one. He’s so poised for such a young man. You see, very few golfers have that pure physical gift that separates them from the rest, such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy or Henrik Stenson. When they hit the ball, they turn heads. For the rest, you really need a lot of the other attributes such as the mental strength and so on.”

As for how good is good enough to make it onto the PGA Tour, Immelman has a simple way of putting it.

“The only difference between the Sunshine Tour and PGA Tour is the depth of playing standard. The competition is so deep on the PGA Tour that you must be able to handle adversity and be ready to take your lumps.

“People don’t realise how good you have to be, to be bad on the PGA Tour.”

Condolence Message

In the life of a nation there emerges an individual in whose visionary wisdom, the country finds its way clear, to re-invent itself and reclaim unreserved acceptance amongst the free nations of the world.

South Africa’s founding democracy president, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, was such a man. The giant not only helped the nation leap over its ugly past, but also proved to have broad shoulders on which many causes found their feet to see swift and far in the belief that we can change the world.

Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund ranks amongst those causes. In the footsteps of this giant, are clear sign posts to follow to make the world safer to live in and for children to imagine the best that childhood dreams of.

Thanks to all for sharing this great life with us.

Yvonne Mokgoro Sibongile Mkhabela
Chairperson Chief Executive Officer
Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

2013 Nelson Mandela Championship

Dr Handa
Dr Handa, ISPS Handa CEO
The Nelson Mandela Championship, presented by ISPS Handa, a new professional golf tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Sunshine tour.

The €1-million 72-hole tournament will be the first event on the 2013 European Tour International schedule and will also be the kick-off to the 2013 Race to Dubai. The field of 156 professionals will be made up of equal numbers from both the Sunshine and European Tours and will feature some of the world’s leading and up-and-coming professional golfers.


The Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust

Children's Hospital
In 1995, Mr Mandela established the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund – the first charity he established after his inauguration as President of South Africa.

Then, in 2007, he challenged his wife, Mrs Graça Machel, and the trustees of the Fund to expand into children’s health – more specifically, to offer the children of Southern Africa a state of the art hospital. This led to the establishment of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust. The Trust is currently fundraising to build this much-needed centre of excellence, which will be a specialist facility where no child will be turned away due to inability to pay.

Latest News

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Dawie makes his own magic for Madiba title

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (14 December 2013) – It was always going to be a special week. But Dawie van der Walt had no idea it would be this special. Read more
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A tournament of tribute and triumph

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (14 December 2013) – The 2013 Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa could not have taken on a greater significance than being played at a time when the power of sport continues to be reflected in the memories of one of the great humanitarians of our age. Read more
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A little more Grace for Madiba

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (14 December 2013) – On the eve of the state funeral of Nelson Mandela, Branden Grace is hoping to pay his own tribute to South Africa’s greatest statesman by winning the Nelson Mandela Championship at Mount Edgecombe Country Club today. Read more
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Young stars given chance to shine in Nelson Mandela Championship

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (13 December 2013) – In Germany he’s known as “Das Wunderkind”, but the nickname given to 16-year-old amateur sensation Dominic Foos could just as easily apply to the group of five young golfers who were invited to compete in this week’s Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa. Read more
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Madiba Magic yields two 59s in Nelson Mandela Championship

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (13 December 2013) – When the sun finally came out over Mount Edgecombe during the Nelson Mandela Championship on Friday, it shone down on a ninth and 18th green that within 30 seconds witnessed European Tour history. Read more
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Africa’s original golf cart?

Durban’s famous ricksha pullers have been employed to ferry golf fans between the car park and the golf course at Mount Edgecombe for this week’s Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa on the Sunshine Tour. Read more
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Fortunate Frenchman challenging in Nelson Mandela Championship

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (11 December 2013) – For a man who two years ago almost had his career ended in a freak accident with his dog, Frenchman Francois Calmels didn’t mind the seven-hour delay to the first round before a 63 put him one off the clubhouse lead in the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa. Read more
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Rain cannot dampen spirit of Nelson Mandela Championship

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (11 December 2013) – The weather may well have delayed the start of this year’s Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa, but the tournament’s fundraising efforts are already well underway. Wednesday’s first round of this European Tour and Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned tournament only teed off at 13:00 after heavy overnight rain had resulted in a waterlogged Course One at Mt Edgecombe. Read more
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Praise for Madiba at Nelson Mandela Championship

DURBAN, KwaZulu-Natal (10 December 2013) – South African professional golf continued to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela as golfers and sportsmen shared their memories of the former president ahead of Wednesday's first round of the Nelson Mandela Championship. As the memorial service was conducted at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, there was a minute of silence during the official pro-am of the Nelson Mandela Championship at Mt Edgecombe Country Club. Read more
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GOLF – SUNSHINE TOUR Nelson Mandela Championship goes ahead

GOLF – SUNSHINE TOUR Nelson Mandela Championship goes ahead. Nelson Mandela Championship to start a day early. SUN CITY, December 6 – The Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa at Durban’s Mount Edgecombe Country Club will go ahead next week as planned, but will start a day earlier on Wednesday, December 11. Read more
First round delayed
The start of the first round of the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa has been further delayed due to a waterlogged Mt Edgecombe golf course. Play is now scheduled to start at 13:00, conditions permitting.

New live broadcast times - NMC 2013

Wednesday 11 December
14:30-17:30
Thursday 12 December
13:30 – 17:30
Friday 13 December
12:00 – 16:30
Saturday 14 December
12:00-16:30
  • Sunshine Tour
  • European Tour