More golf stardom sign up for Nedbank Challenge

20 October 2018 - 12:29 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Louis Oosthuizen. File photo.
Louis Oosthuizen. File photo.

The already impressive Nedbank Golf Challenge field has been further enhanced with confirmation that local stars Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel and Englishman Lee Westwood will be taking part in the event next month.

Westwood comes with a big reputation to Sun City as he is a former world No 1 and was a vice-captain to Thomas Bjørn at the Ryder Cup in France together with South African major champions Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.

They join established names like Bjørn‚ Brandon Stone‚ Branden Grace‚ four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy‚ 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia and George Coetzee in the penultimate Rolex Series event of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai between November 8 and 11.

More names are going to be confirmed in the coming days and host Gary Player is delighted with the calibre of players the oreganisers have been able to secure so far.

“It’s very important we have all the best South Africans here to show the world why we are one of the best golfing nations on the planet. We are going to have a fantastic field and we are all very excited to watch the drama on the course unfold in November‚” Player said.

Westwood returns to a tournament he dominated with his victories in 2010 and 2011 where he became only the sixth player in the history of what is locally referred to as “Africa’s Major” to successfully defend his title.

He also finished second in this event in 2000.

Both Schwartzel and Oosthuizen will be seeking to keep the famous crystal trophy in South Africa following victory by Grace last year‚ which ended a 10-year drought for local stars in the tournament.

Oosthuizen‚ the 2010 Open champion‚ has a strong run of form at Sun City having finished in the top 15 in all of his last five appearances there‚ with three of those top 10s.

Schwartzel‚ the 2011 Masters champion‚ came close to a win at the Gary Player Country Club in the 2012 Nedbank Golf Challenge when he finished second two strokes behind champion Martin Kaymer.