• Africa’s Major: Facts that matter

    Alex Noren and Gary Player
    Noren shares a laugh on his return

    Compleat Golfer brings you up to speed with all the necessary stats and facts since the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player at Sun City.

    • The Nedbank Golf Challenge host by Gary Player became part of the European Tour International Schedule for the first time at the beginning of the 2014 season. The event became the 11th different European Tour event to be staged in South Africa
    • The event itself started in 1981 and, prior to becoming a European Tour-sanctioned tournament, featured a much smaller field. In its first year it had a field of just five – Seve Ballesteros, Johnny Miller (who won that year), Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino – and the field size often changed throughout the tournament’s early history
    • The Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player became part of the European Tour’s Rolex Series in 2017. Branden Grace’s victory in 2017 was the first time a South African won the event since it joined the European Tour’s international schedule. Prior to the event joining the Tour, Trevor Immelman was the last South African to lift the trophy in 2007
    • Lee Westwood returned to the winner’s circle for the first time since 2014 when he clinched the title 12 months ago. It was the Englishman’s first Rolex Series win
    • Els holds the tournament scoring record with a total of 263 (-25) in 1999
    • There have been 15 different Major champions who have their names etched on the roll of honour – Ballesteros, Els, Raymond Floyd, Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Immelman, Martin Kaymer, Bernhard Langer, Miller, Corey Pavin, Price, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett and Ian Woosnam
    • The Gary Player Country Club is the third-longest course in European Tour history at 7,831 yards. In second, 18 yards longer than Sun City, is the Ritz-Carlton Golf in the USA, venue for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship between 2009-11. The longest is another South African course, the Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate, where the 2014 Tshwane Open was played, measuring 7,964 yards
    • The Sun City venue also played host to European Tour competition prior to the Nedbank Golf Challenge. The Dimension Data Pro-Am took place from 1996-97 and was won by Mark McNulty (1996) and Nick Price (1997)
    • Westwood joined an esteemed list of players to have won the event on three or more occasions following his success last year and previous victories in 2010 and 2011. He joined David Frost (1989, 1990, 1992), Nick Price (1993, 1994, 1997, 1998) and Ernie Els (1999, 2000, 2002).

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