12 of the World’s best golfers, including Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and defending champion Lee Westwood, have gathered in Sun City, South Africa this week to contest the 31st Nedbank Golf Challenge.
This year’s Nedbank Challenge has attracted a stellar cast list. World Number 1 Luke Donald tops the billing while World numbers 3 and 4, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer will also tee it up.
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel will make an appearance, as will British Open winner Darren Clarke.
“I think it speaks volumes for the status of the Nedbank Golf Challenge that for the second year in succession we have been able to secure the world’s number one golfer for our tournament,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director. “The fact that we also have the last three world number ones in our field in Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer makes it that much more special.”
The field for this year’s tournament highlights the current strength of European golf on a world stage, with nine of the 12 players hailing from that continent. Other than those mentioned above, Graeme McDowell, Robert Karlsson, Simon Dyson, Francesco Molinari and Anders Hansen will compete. The other two international stars participating are: Jason Dufner of the USA and Korea’s K.T. Kim.
First contested in 1981, the Nedbank Challenge can boast an incredible rollcall of champions. Johnny Miller won the inaugural event and Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Retief Goosen have all been winners.
Last season Lee Westwood put on an imperious display to finish eight shots clear of Tim Clark. He posted a four round total of 17-uner-par to pick up the winner’s cheque of $1.25 million.
Venue: The Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa
Date: Dec 1-4
Course stats: par 72, 7,833 yards
Purse: $5,000,000 Winner: $1,250,000
Defending Champion: Lee Westwood (-17)
Thursday 1 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 9am
Friday 2 – Live on Sky Sports 1 from 9am
Saturday 3 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9am
Sunday 4 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 9am
Lee Westwood – Last year’s winner will be looking for a repeat performance. With the Dubai World Championship next week, the former World Number 1 will be looking for the perfect preparation here.
Charl Schwartzel – The talented South African won this year’s US Masters with an incredible four birdie finish. He’ll be hoping to join the great South Africans who have won this event in the past.
Francesco Molinari – He made it into the field courtesy of an injury to Thomas Bjorn. He’ll look to make the very most of his opportunity.
Key hole: 17th. At 478 yards, this is a highly daunting par 4. Water guards the entire left side, threatening for both drive and approach. The right side is guarded by sand from the tee and a sprawling bunker short, right of the green. It requires two long, accurate shots and a big number is always possible here. Walk off with a par and breathe a huge sigh of relief.
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