• Golf, ParTee, Rory and food to dine for

    Nedbank Golf Challenge final hole
    The stage is set

    The Rolex Series continues this week as the European Tour heads to South Africa for the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player. What you need to know…

    Food to dine for 

    In addition to the strong field and Rolex Series status, the Sun City showpiece will offer a culinary experience that easily holds its own amongst the biggest and best sporting events in the world. Ronald Ramsamy, the Sun International Group Executive Chef visited some of the biggest tournaments in the world to research what to offer at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Among the mouth-watering food on offer is Kung Fu Cowboy, a fusion between American-style burgers and Asian food such as sushi, Brew Monkey’s pub-style food and the Food Factory, Ramsamy’s take on burgers and bunny chows.

    Main attraction

    A very strong field will tee it up in Sun City but the headline act will undoubtedly be four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman will make his third Rolex Series appearance of the year after the BMW PGA Championship and the Irish Open.

    Masters Tournament champions Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel, 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and 23-time European Tour winner Lee Westwood will all add star power to ‘Africa’s Major’.

    ParTee time

    More than just a golf tournament, the Nedbank Golf Challenge will be the place to party this week. Under the 2018 theme of ParTee on the Green, the entertainment runs all week with a marimba band in the Cascades Hotel, drumming in The Palace of the Lost City, live music in the Superbowl, DJs at the famous Beach Party and cover bands rocking the hospitality village.

    Golf fans can expect a hospitality village jampacked with a wide offering of food and drinks to go with the live music and exciting sponsor activations.

    There will even be a big screen on Saturday to watch the Springbok Test against France.

    Back-to-back winners?

    Nedbank Golf Challenge produced a popular winner last year; South African Branden Grace. He was the first homegrown winner of the event since Trevor Immelman in 2007 and the victory catapulted him to ninth on the Race to Dubai Rankings, up from 34th.

    The 30-year-old will now attempt join Justin Rose in the exclusive club of men to successfully defend a Rolex Series title.

    Ryder Cup royalty

    Team Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn will tee it up in Sun City, the scene of his most recent European Tour victory. The Dane led Team Europe to a monumental victory at Le Golf National in September but has since altered his focus back to his playing career, teeing it up in the British Masters and the Andalucía Valderrama Masters .

    Bjorn’s victory in 2014 came courtesy of rounds of 67-70-66-65 to beat Spaniard Garcia and Welshman Jamie Donaldson by two shots.

    Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Matt Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood, Danny Willett, Chris Wood, Ross Fisher, Nicolas Colsaerts and Martin Kaymer are all current or former Team Europe members in action this week.

    Credit: European Tour

    Photo: Grant Leversha

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