Sunshine Tour

Stenson ready for Sun City

Henrik Stenson (AP Photo)
Henrik Stenson (AP Photo)

Johannesburg - Henrik Stenson has arrived at Sun City for the upcoming Nedbank Golf Challenge, and the Swede has declared his wrist fine as he attempts to win "Africa's Major" for a second time.

The winner of the Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup told tournament officials he had been exercising his wrist for the past week. He had not hit a golf ball, but was due to play a practice round with his caddie at the Lost City Golf Course on Saturday afternoon.

Organisers of the showpiece were one tournament away from finalising the 30-man field. The winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek on Sunday would occupy the last berth. Should the winner already have qualified for the Sun City challenge, the last spot would be filled by a golfer drawn from the official world rankings.

Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge would be making his debut in the tournament on the back of another solid season on the PGA Tour.

Another first-timer was Sunshine Tour Order of Merit leader Darren Fichardt.

Charl Schwartzel, who was playing in his fifth Nedbank Golf Challenge, recalled how it was the first tournament his father George took him to watch.

"I was watching Ernie Els putting on the practice green. Then he left to tee off, leaving behind his golf ball. So I nipped under the rope and stole it.

"It really is a special event. I rate the tournament highly. I think for a South African to play the Nedbank it's big."

Germany's Martin Kaymer was back to defend his title, having taken his place among the great champions at the Gary Player Country Club.

"You look at all those great names on the bronze plaques on the walkway to the ninth green, and it's nice to know mine will be on there as well," Kaymer said.

Englishman Luke Donald was back in the field this year and, in 2011, summed up what an invitation to the tournament meant to him.

"This has always been one of those events where, if you're playing this week, you know you've had a good year," Donald said.

"It's a reward at the end of the year. But at the same time it's a great event. It's not just another event. It's Africa's Major as they like to call it, and it attracts a great field. There is no doubt that this is a quality event."

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