Tour name Rupert Life Vice President

South African businessman Johann Rupert has been made an Honorary Life Vice President of The European Tour.

South African businessman Johann Rupert has been made an Honorary Life Vice President of The European Tour.

The honour was conferred on him during this weekend’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth by the Tour’s Chief Executive, George O’Grady.

Rupert, Chairman of the Swiss-based luxury goods company, Richemont, and guest speaker at The European Tour’s annual awards dinner on Tuesday, is one of the Tour’s most valued sponsors, his association with the Tour spanning over a quarter of a century.

Currently his company sponsors the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek in South Africa and the Alfred Dunhill Links championship in Scotland.

The Links Championship is a unique event that brings together the world’s best golfers, notable sportsmen and women as well as celebrities from film and television industry n a festival of golf over the Old Course at St Andrews, and the nearby Carnoustie and Kingsbarns courses..

In his native South Africa Rupert also serves as the Chairman of the South African PGA Tour, The European Tour’s oldest co-sanctioning partner, and the South African Golf Development Board.

With Gary Player as his designer, Rupert developed the outstanding Leopard Creek Golf Club in Mpumalanga, which is consistently rated as one of South Africa’s best golf courses and in 2007, he was elected into the South African Sports Hall of Fame.

When making the award, O’Grady said: “The European Tour is very fortunate that when we go around the world, we find partners who are strong, powerful people who are extremely passionate about golf. In Johann Rupert we have a partner who embodies all of those traits.

“The European Tour is delighted that Johann has accepted the award to become an Honorary Life Vice President of our Tour. It is a fitting award for a man whose contribution to golf is colossal.”

Ernie Els, 25-time European Tour champion and a long-time friend of Rupert, said: “I have known Johann for over 20 years and he is a great man. He works in the highest echelons of the business world and he tells you exactly what is going on, whether you like it not.

“That’s what makes the man so special and that is why it is great news for the Tour that he has accepted their offer to become an Honorary Life Vice President, because if they ever need his advice he will give them an honest appraisal of what needs to be done.

“I am very proud to have Johann as a friend. He is a huge figure in South African golf and there are not many golfers in my country that Johann hasn’t helped over the years. He is one of a kind, a great man.”