big guns for sa open

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

The Nedbank Golf Challenge has come and gone and now the focus is on the second national open - the SA Open at the Pearl Valley Golf Estates next week.

It will undoubtedly be one of the most exciting events with four of the golfers who took part in the Golf Challenge at Sun City teeing off at this event. They are Rory Sabbatini, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Trevor Immelman.

The tournament tees off on December 18-21 and will be contested by players from 35 countries as far afield as Iceland.

There'll also be several golfers hoping to celebrate their new European Tour status with a strong showing in the competition.

They include South Africa's Branden Grace and Zimbabwean Marc Cayeux, who both qualified for the 2009 European Tour in Spain recently, as well as Andrew Coltart, who comes from Scotland.

David Spencer, chief executive of golf at Leisurecorp, said: "The event has one of the greatest fields ever seen in the southern hemisphere, and the strongest possible South African challenge means that we are expecting a record crowd."

He said Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Rose, Westwood are some of the big guns who will be there.

"When you throw Sabbatini into the mix, who has never played in the South African Open before, you have the recipe for a thrilling four days of golf," Spencer said.