Rising star Tyrrell Hatton and a strong cast of European Tour winners are expected to be headed to Sun City for the 2016 Nedbank Golf Challenge, hosted by Gary Player, from November 10-13.
Hatton’s victory in the recent Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland lifted him into fourth place on the current Race to Dubai standings as he continues to chase his best season as a professional.
He leads a group of players who have made big moves up the Race to Dubai rankings over the past week and will be challenging for a place inside the top 10 at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship and a share of the $5 million bonus pool, and with the Nedbank Golf Challenge playing a key role as the penultimate tournament on the Final Series.
Double US Open champion Retief Goosen will also return to a tournament he won in 2004, having been granted a special invitation to play this year.
South Africa’s Richard Sterne played his way into the Sun City field with a share of second place in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, climbing to 35th place on the rankings.
‘I was 72 on the rankings before the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship so I needed a decent week just to get into the last few events of the year, which you don’t want to miss. At least I’ve got a bit of a schedule to the end of the year now,’ said Sterne.
Swedish star Alex Noren is also expected to tee it up at the Gary Player Country Club this November. Noren is a two-time winner on the European Tour this season in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and the Omega European Masters.
Those performances have placed him to ninth on the Race to Dubai, and a good week at Sun City can secure or even improve his position within the top 10 as he too challenges for the bonus pool.
English stars Andrew Johnston and Ross Fisher will also be looking to Sun City to boost their chances of a place within the top 10.
Johnston, a maiden winner on the European Tour this season with his victory in the Real Club Valderrama Open de España, hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, is currently 19th on the Race to Dubai.
Fisher, who shared second place in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, is currently in 17th place on the Race to Dubai rankings.
Joost Luiten, currently 12th on the standings, is also looking to break into the top 10 over the next few weeks leading up to the final, as is European Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters who currently sits in 15th place on the rankings.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood is also pushing hard for a return to Sun City, having played his way into the top 60 on the Race to Dubai at number 56 following four top 15 finishes in his last four tournaments.
Sun International has confirmed that there will be no increase in ticket prices for the 2016 tournament.
On Tuesday 8 November and Wednesday 9 November, an adult ticket will still cost R80. For Thursday 10 November and Friday 11 November, the cost will be R180. And for Saturday 12 November and Sunday 13 November, an adult ticket will cost R200. All prices exclude an official tournament programme.
Children between the ages of 12 and 17 will gain free access on Tuesday 8 November and Wednesday 9 November. On Thursday 10 November and Friday 11 November, the cost of a ticket will be R90. And on Saturday 12 November and Sunday 13 November, the cost will be R100. All prices exclude an official tournament programme.
Children under 12 years of age will gain free access for the duration of the tournament, and excluding an official tournament programme.
By Michael Vlismas