Golfers ready for Sun City

2012-11-24 20:48

The stage is set for 12 of the world’s finest golfers to showcase their talent in the Nedbank Golf Challenge that tees off at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City from Thursday.

South African golf lovers and an international audience will be treated to four days of scintillating golf in “Africa’s major”, in which contestants will jostle for an R11?million first prize.

English defending champion, Lee Westwood, will hope to engrave his name into the hall of fame by making a second successful title defence.

He won the 2010 edition via an impressive 17 under par and went on to register a remarkable 15 under par in last year’s event before a huge and excited crowd.

Another win for Westwood will make him the first golfer to make it three in a row in the contest’s history.

But with the Gary Player course this year being tougher, with narrow fairways and awkward pin placements, competition will be fierce as all
the players will be itching to make

their mark. And this year’s field is indicative of the fact that spectators will enjoy their money’s worth.

The presence of South Africa’s top dogs Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel will be the draw?card.

Oosthuizen enjoys the big stage and fancies being paired against Westwood on the first day to take it away at the first tee-box.

The South African caused a stir during the Masters at Augusta National, Georgia, in April by hitting a ­four-iron from 243m that pitched on the front of the green before rolling into the hole for an albatross.

Schwartzel, who was last year’s Masters winner, is determined to show his class at Sun City.

It will be interesting to watch him being matched against Germany’s Martin Kaymer in the opening round on Thursday, if it happens.

Kaymer shared third place on 13 under, while Schwartzel finished fifth on 11 under in the final round of the SA Open at Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate in Ekurhuleni last week.

The event will boast newcomers in South Africa’s Garth Mulroy, Nicholas Colsaert (Belgium) and Peter Hanson (Sweden).

England’s Justin Rose, Bill Hass (USA) and Peter Hanson (Sweden) should shine if they are matched together.

They are all rookies at Sun City and are itching to shine.

Other top names are Francisco Molinari (Italy) and Carl Pettersson (Sweden).

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