It’s the second week of the 2014 European Tour and the players are in South Africa for the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Charl Schwartzel defends the title at Leopard Creek Country Club.
In last year’s tournament, Charl Schwartzel romped home to an incredible 12-stroke victory. The South African has an amazing record in this event – He won in 2005 (his first European Tour title,) was runner-up in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011 before winning again so emphatically last season.
“It’s probably my favourite tournament of the year. I’m always really excited to go back, and especially this year as I’ll be defending my title, he said.
“It’s one of my favourite courses in the whole world, and it treated me pretty well last year. I’ve always felt very comfortable around there in the past, so hopefully that can continue this week – although I don’t expect to win by 12 shots again!”
This event began life as the South African PGA, but since 2000 it’s been known as either the Alfred Dunhill Championship or the Dunhill Championship. Since 2005 it’s been played at Leopard Creek Country Club.
Designed by Gary Player, the course at Leopard Creek is in a stunning setting on the edge of Kruger National Park. Winding through the bush and grasslands past natural water hazards, the layout is famed for its plentiful and diverse wildlife. There’s a hippopotamus living in the lake by the 16th hole and waterbuck, impala, giraffes, crocodiles and leopards have all been seen on and around the course.
Back in 1995 the championship was the first European Tour event to be co-sanctioned with another tour.
The weather forecast for the week looks good with hot conditions, up to 35C on Saturday, some rain may move in on Sunday.
Venue: Leopard Creek Country Club, Malelane, South Africa
Date: Nov 28 – Dec 1
Course stats: par 72, 7,236 yards
Purse: €1,500,000 Winner: €237,750
Defending Champion: Charl Schwartzel (-24)
Thursday 28 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30am
Friday 29 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30am
Saturday 30 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am
Sunday 1 – Sky Sports 4 from 10.30am
Charl Schwartzel starts as heavy favourite with odds of 3-1. Who else might feature this week?
Brendon De Jonge – The PGA Tour regular from Zimbabwe is a tournament invite for this week. He’s become a consistent performer on the US circuit and was tied 16th in his most recent start on the PGA Tour.
Alejandro Canizares – The Spaniard was sixth last week and has made the last nine cuts on the European Tour, going back to a fourth place finish in the Omega European Masters in September.
Jaco Van Zyl – He was tied 12th last week and would have recorded a good finish in this event last year had it not been for a poor last round.
Key hole: 18th. A 541 yard par 5 that can be reached in two. Water comes into play on the approach – Ernie Els found it twice during the final round of 2007 and lost the tournament by a shot.