The emergence of a new variant of the Covid 19 virus has had an immediate impact on the opening few events of the 2021/2022 European (now known as the DP World) Tour in South Africa.

The move follows international travel restrictions imposed on South Africa on Friday due to the discovery of the new variant.

The Joburg Open, which is currently being played at the Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg has been reduced to 54 holes in order to assist non-South African resident players, caddies and tournament support staff return to their home countries. The decision was taken to help facilitate their safe return and give them an extra day to make travel arrangements.

The event’s second round on Friday was disrupted by darkness with several in the field still having to complete as many as eight holes. That round will be finished on Saturday morning followed by the third round on Saturday afternoon to decide the outcome of the tournament.

The remaining two DP World events of 2021 which were to be jointly sanctioned between the DP World Tour and the South African Sunshine Tour have also been severely impacted.

The South African Open Championship, set to be played at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City from 2-5 December, will also still be played as scheduled. However, it will go ahead as a solely Sunshine Tour event with a prize fund of US$500 000.

The Alfred Dunhill Championship, which was scheduled to be played at Leopard Creek Country Club from 9-12 December, has, after lengthy consultations with Alfred Dunhill, unfortunately been cancelled due to the adverse effect the travel restrictions will have on the field.

The next event on the DP World Tour schedule therefore will be the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in late January.

No Australians or New Zealanders were in this week’s field