Nedbank Golf Challenge chasing hotshot Stenson’s signature

2013-09-29 14:00

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Fresh from his stunning?Tour Championship by Coca-Cola victory, which led to him winning the FedEx Cup, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is being strongly pursued to take part in this year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The revamped 30-player challenge, which is set to feature golf’s crème de la crème, will tee off at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City in North West, from December 5 to December 8.

Stenson posted a three-stroke victory to pocket a whopping $1.4?million (R14.1?million) for the PGA-sanctioned Tour Championship by Coca-Cola at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, on Sunday and a further $10?million for winning the FedEx Cup.

That makes him the first European winner of the FedEx Cup in its seven-year history.

Nedbank Golf Challenge tournament director Alastair Roper told City Press in an exclusive interview that they would stop at nothing to get Stenson’s signature to play at Sun City.

“We’ve issued invitations to players who finish in the top 10 of FedEx Cup. This obviously makes Stenson our priority because of his form and standing,” he said.

Roper said negotiations had already begun with the Swede’s management team regarding his availability.

“He’s such an enterprising golfer and it will be a real pleasure to have him in the field. By next week, we should be able to confirm the participation of the 10 players to come here.”

If the organisers manage to pull through, Stenson will be making his second appearance in Africa’s Major.

The last time the Gothenburg-born golfer walked the Sun City greens was in 2008, when he registered an impressive nine-shot victory.

Roper said they were also optimistic of getting the signatures of Australian Adam Scott and Englishman Justin Rose.

Scott won the US Masters in April, while Rose clinched the US Open in June.

Roper said: “It’s a pity that the majority of American players will not be coming here as they will be playing in Tiger Woods’s own tournament on the same weekend.”

The first batch of players have already been confirmed for the four-day Sun City event.

They are: Branden Grace (South Africa), defending champion Martin Kaymer (Germany), Peter Senior (Australia) and Thaworn Wiratchant (Thailand).

Stenson’s stats

Personal

Born: April 5 1976

Nationality: Swedish

Residence: Orlando, US

Career

Turned pro:1998

Current tours:PGA Tour (joined in 2007) and European Tour (joined in 2001)

Number of wins by tour

PGA: 4

Euro Tour: 7

Asian Tour: 1

Sunshine Tour: 1

Challenge Tour: 3

Other: 2

Achievements and awards

Challenge Tour: 2000

Ranking winner: 2013

FedEx Cup: 2013

Best results in major championships

Masters: T17 in 2007 and 2008

US Open: 9th in 2009

The Open: 2nd in 2013

PGA Championship: 3rd in 2013

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