fans flock to sun city

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

The attendance at this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge is bound to exceed that of last year, when some of the world's best golfers battle it out at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City starting this morning.

Alistair Roper, the tournament's director, believes the popularity of the event, and new participants are the major reasons for the anticipated bigger attendance.

He said last year's number was 70000 but he is confident the number could be more than 100000 this year. He said people start coming in a few days before the tournament teed off.

"The crowd is going to exceed that of last year because people have already started to come to Sun City before the start. People who don't even follow the game are coming to Sun City to watch some of the big names that will be in action," said Roper yesterday.

He added that local caddies always got opportunities to be developed by the international caddies.

"Normally our local caddies show the visiting golfers and their caddies the course and the greens, some of the difficult and tricky holes as well as the bunkers.

"By the time the event starts, a golfer and his caddie have a slight idea what to expect during the tournament," he said.

"They (international players) work with them for a few days and that is how our local caddies benefit from the tournament."

He also pointed out that the Tapologo Aids Hospice, which is based in Rustenburg, a stone's throw from Sun City, were the beneficiaries of the golf challenge.

"They have been receiving R1 million for the past two years from our gate money, they are going to benefit again this year too," he said.