This week sees the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. Here are 12 tough questions to get you ready …
In South African sport, the NGC has become an institution. It’s part of the family, as they say, woven into the fabric of the country’s sport, as are the Comrades Marathon, the July Handicap, the Currie Cup final and banter around the braai.
This year marks the 37th time the tournament is being hosted, ever since Johnny Miller had his name engraved as the first recipient of the trophy in January 1982. And it has grown in strength and stature. Double Major champion and 2004 winner, Retief Goosen, says everything about the NGC, hosted by Gary Player, feels like a Major Championship.
‘This event has always been one of the best in the world. The effort that goes into it is amazing. All the grandstands around the 18th green make it feel like you’re playing in a Major. It’s amazing what they’ve done with this event,’ says Goosen.
Another former winner, Martin Kaymer, is still every bit as impressed by the personal touch of this tournament.
‘The quality of the golf event hasn’t changed. The South African people are similar to the German people in terms of culture
so I feel comfortable here. If I struggle with English, I can get by with some German words because of the Afrikaans language.
‘And they are friendly and very happy for us to come and support golf in South Africa. The people in the hotel, when we say hello
to each other it’s with a hug. That’s what this tournament has always done well. It’s always been very personal.’
How well do you know the NGC?
1. How many golfers took part in the inaugural event in 1981-82?
2. There has been one hole-in-one recorded in the entire history of the tournament. It happened last year. Who achieved it?
3. The past two years have seen runaway wins, by six strokes, for Alex Noren and Marc Leishman. However, the record victory is 12 strokes. Who does that belong to?
4. Who holds the course record in terms of strokes under par for the 72 holes?
5. Who was the first South African to win the tournament?
6. Which golfer was the first to win the tournament for a second time?
7. Three golfers have won the event a record three times. Name them.
8. Who was the last South African to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge?
9. In nine of the last 10 stagings the winner has been 11 under par or better. Which player is the odd one out?
10. In the last 12 stagings, only once has the winner and the runner-up come from the same country. This occurred in 2014. Name the two golfers.
11. Who was the first golfer to pick up a winner’s cheque for $1-million? The prize money had jumped from $300 000 to $1-million.
12. From 2010 to 2012 there was a Nedbank Champions Challenge, a seniors’ tournament for over-50s. Name one of the three winners.