Donald out to end title duck

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Nedbank Golf Challenge tournament director Alistair Roper believes that Luke Donald is a suitable replacement for the injured Anthony Kim.

It will be the third time Donald takes part in the tournament.

"He is an exceptionally good player. Although he never won it, he knows the course well," said Roper.

Donald missed the four-man play-off by one shot in his first appearance in 2005 and in a tie for sixth with Geoff Ogilvy last year.

Kim was replaced by Donald after his doctor recommended that he should limit his play to allow the ankle injury he sustained in New Zealand to heal.

Donald is already in the country preparing for this lucrative four-day tournament that tees off at the Gary Player Country Club from Thursday to Sunday.

"While we are obviously disappointed that Anthony has had to withdraw from what would have been his first appearance at the event, the health and fitness of the players is of paramount importance to them and us," Roper said.

"However, we are equally grateful to Donald for stepping up at such short notice to fill the gap."

The elite field of 12 still boasts eight of the world's top 20 golfers, head-lined by in-form world number two Sergio Garcia of Spain and Sweden's European order of merit winner Robert Karlsson, who is ranked fifth .

The hopes of local fans will be carried by defending champion Trevor Immelman, reigning US Masters champion, Rory Sabbatini and Sunshine Tour order of merit winner, James Kingston.