European Tour

Nedbank Golf Challenge cancelled for second year in a row

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The Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2019. (Photo supplied by European Tour)
The Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2019. (Photo supplied by European Tour)

The 2021 Nedbank Golf Challenge will not take place as a result of the restrictions placed on events and spectators in South Africa because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Tour, Nedbank and Sun International jointly agreed that the much anticipated 40th anniversary of the tournament, scheduled to take place at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City from 11-14 November, would not be feasible under the current restrictions in both the sports and hospitality industries.

"The current Covid environment in South Africa is extremely challenging, and we feel that to host a tournament of the magnitude and prestige of the Nedbank Golf Challenge would not be feasible or prudent," Mike Brown, chief executive of the Nedbank Group, said in a statement.

"As Africa's major, this is a tournament that means so much to so many people and it is renowned for world class golf and corporate hospitality. It would simply not be possible to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in an appropriate manner at this time. We remain committed to celebrating this milestone, and as such will focus our efforts on working towards the 2022 Nedbank Golf Challenge."

Anthony Leeming, chief executive of Sun International, added: "The current restrictions within the hospitality industry mean that Sun City will not be in a position to fully showcase the 40th anniversary of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, and provide the world class experience the golfers and fans are accustomed to. The tournament deserves no less, and although this is a disappointing decision to have to make, it is the right one at this stage."

Keith Pelley, the chief executive European Tour, said it would be better for the milestone of the event to be celebrated at a later stage when fans were present.

"The 40th anniversary of the Nedbank Golf Challenge is a momentous occasion, and as such it is only right that this milestone is celebrated in a manner deserving of this event, and also when South Africa's passionate golf fans can properly share in this moment."

Tournament host, Gary Player, added: "I understand and appreciate the immense consideration that went into this decision. As tough as it is for all of us who love the Nedbank Golf Challenge and who desperately want to see it played, I support the decision taken as one that is in the best interests of a tournament that is very dear to all of us."

The 2020 event was also cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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