A Jack Nicklaus design, the course at Pearl Valley only opened for play in 2004. This will be the second South African Open Championship to be hosted here. Last year James Kingston won to claim his first European Tour title after 20 years as a professional.
Since it was first played in 1903, the South African Open Championship has seen just nine foreign winners. But with the likes of Rose, Stenson, Clarke and Westwood in the field there’s certainly a chance the odds may be upset.
Trevor Immelman plays in his home Open as Masters Champion and he’ll be inspired by the fact he won the event in consecutive years back in 2003-2004.
Venue: Pearl Valley Golf Estate, Western Cape, South Africa
Date: December 18-21
Course stats: par 72, 7,438 yards
Defending champion: James Kingston (-4)
Thursday 18 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8.30am
Friday 19 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8.30am
Saturday 20 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10.30pm
Sunday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 10.30pm
Henrik Stenson – The on-form Swede has won on his last two outings in the World Cup and at the Nedbank Championship. He’ll surely be in the mix again this week.
Retief Goosen – A previous winner of the tournament, Goosen will be hoping for a better year in 2009. A win here would be the perfect springboard.
James Kingston – The defending champion will be aiming for a repeat performance around a course that holds great memories.
Key hole: 13th. A par five of 581 yards, a creek comes into play three times en-route to the green – It’s a great strategic test.
Skills required: Strong hitting. At 7,438 yards with four par fives, the man with the ability to hit a long ball has a distinct advantage here.