(Fixes typo in headline)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Four golfers have tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the start of the South Africa Open on Thursday 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.
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.
(The story has been refiled to fix typo in the headline)
(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Rohith Nair)