Darren Fitchard lead the way in Doha at Qatar Masters
Darren Fichardt, the 18-time winner on the local Sunshine Tour, has tested positive for COVID-19. Image Credit: Supplied

Johannesburg: Four golfers have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the start of the South Africa Open today in a further blow to a tournament already downgraded after the discovery of a new coronavirus variant in the country.

The list includes Darren Fichardt, who is an 18-time winner on the local Sunshine Tour.

Omicron variant

Travel from southern Africa has been curtailed due to the Omicron variant and as a result the European Tour withdrew its sanctioning of the event, with the tournament purse cut by $1 million.

The three other golfers who tested positive were Teaghan Gauche, Dylan Mostert and Siyanda Mwandla, local media reported.