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Source: The Presidency
Title: Mbeki: Opening ceremony of President's Cup
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, THABO
MBEKI, AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE PRESIDENT'S CUP 2003,
Fancourt, 20 November 2003
Honorary Co-Chairman of the President's Cup, President George
President Nelson Mandela,
President FW de Klerk,
Distinguished Members of the President's Cup Committee,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am truly delighted that the world's premier league of the golfing
fraternity has joined us today for this prestigious friendly
tournament, the President's Cup 2003. On behalf of the government
and people of South Africa, I extend a very warm welcome to all of
Today, 20 November, is the birthday of one of South Africa's
golfing heroes, Bobby Locke. In 1946, he invited United States (US)
hero, Sam Snead, for a friendly competition in South Africa and
stunned Sam with his victory by 12 matches to two. Perhaps this
paved the way for our own new stars to emerge, including our
current international team players, Gary Player, Ernie Els, Retief
Goosen, Tim Clark and so many others.
It is indeed an immense privilege and honour to welcome as Captain
of the US team, a living legend among his peers, among amateur
golfers and to millions of golfing fans around the world - the
incomparable master, Jack Nicklaus.
The magnificent Links Course at Fancourt is the dream of its
architect, Gary Player, whose vision and love of the game, brings
us all together in celebration of the sport, which millions around
the world enjoy, playing on over 30,000 golf courses.
Golf has certainly come a long way since the game was known to have
been played in Scotland in the 15th century, when King James II
banned it by decree when he pronounced:
"And that the fute-bal and golfe be utterly cryed down, and not be
Fortunately for all of us today, the great game of golf has
travelled across the globe, played by royalty, Presidents, men,
women and children from all walks of life.
Since the Royal Cape Club was established in 1885, many golf
courses have been built in South Africa. I am proud to say that,
for over 40 years, and under difficult circumstances, enthusiastic
black golfers have sought out open fields and kept the game alive
even in our townships, such Tembisa and Daveyton. In KwaZulu-Natal,
Papwa Sewgoolam showed courage and outstanding skill against all
Tiger Woods, who has inspired so many new players to the game, says
that golf is really:
"...you against yourself. It always comes down to how well you know
yourself, your ability, your limitations and the confidence you
have in your ability to execute under pressure that is mostly
self-created. Ultimately, you must have the heart and head to play
a shot and the courage to accept the consequences. Golf is a great
mirror, often revealing things about you that even you didn't know.
It cannot be misled. Still we try."
I wish the US team and the international team from Australia,
Canada, Fiji, South Africa, South Korea, and Zimbabwe, good luck
and keen but friendly competition. I am honoured to declare the
President's Cup 2003 officially open.