Golf greats chase Nedbank prize

NEDBANK Golf Challenge director Alistair Roper and his team have once again put together a world-class field for the 29th edition of the prestigious event starting at Sun City tomorrow.

NEDBANK Golf Challenge director Alistair Roper and his team have once again put together a world-class field for the 29th edition of the prestigious event starting at Sun City tomorrow.

Looking for a share of the $4,385million (R32,37million) up for grabs will be 12 of the world's top golfers, all intent on ending the year on a high and a winner's cheque for $1,2million (R8,86million) in their back pocket.

Referred to as "Africa's Major", the past winners list reads like a who's who of golfing greats with the likes of Seve Ballesteros (1983-84), Bernard Langer (1985) and Ian Woosnam (1987) all having lifted the coveted crystal trophy on the winner's podium.

After a period where local golfers, including Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Nick Price, ruled the fairways of the Gary Player Country Club, the pendulum has swung back to overseas winners, with Henrik Stenson (2008) and Jim Furyk (2005-07) picking up the winner's cheque.

Back again this year to defend his title, Stenson will be looking for back-to-back victories and end what has been a drought given his past high standards.

The Swede is holding down the No 7 position in the world rankings, and has only one victory to his credit this year, at the Players Championship way back in May in Florida, US.

Stenson has a knack, though, of rising to the big occasion and with regular caddy Fannie Sunesson offering advice, it would be a brave punter betting against these two making it a double.

The arrival of Robert Allenby, Ross Fisher, Robert Karlsson, Rory McIlroy, Richard Sterne, Nick Watney and Stenson on Monday - following the World Cup tournament in China this past weekend - means the bulk of the field are in the country and raring to go.

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