Thomas Bjørn will return to the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player from November 8-11, 2018, with Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup captain joining a world-class field at the penultimate Rolex Series event on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
The Dane, who clinched the last of his 15 European Tour titles at Gary Player Country Club at the start of the 2014 season, is returning to South Africa for the first time since he captained Europe to a 17.5 – 10.5 victory over the United States in Paris in September.
This year the US$7.5 million tournament is once again part of the Rolex Series – the premium category of tournaments on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai - and will be a pivotal event in helping to crown the Race to Dubai Champion the following week.
Bjørn produced a stunning final round 65 to claim the Nedbank Golf Challenge title four seasons ago - including two eagles on the back nine - with a two-shot victory over Jamie Donaldson and Sergio Garcia.
Europe’s all-time Ryder Cup points leader Garcia and fellow Major winner and Team Europe star Rory McIlroy are also in the field this year, and Bjørn is relishing the opportunity to go up against some familiar faces in Sun City.
He said: “I’ve got great memories of this event and I’m looking forward to getting back to Sun City as a special year comes to a close.
“Winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge in its first year on the European Tour schedule is something I won’t forget. I knew I had to go low on the final day and in the end it was a fantastic battle against Sergio and Jamie.
“It’s always an exciting week, and I’m looking forward to being part of such a great field, including several members of Team Europe.”
Nedbank Golf Challenge host Gary Player said: “We are thrilled Thomas will return to Sun City after a brilliant captaincy of the European Team in France.
“He has always been super supportive of the NGC, our GPI’ s and The Player Foundation, and we wish him all the best competing in Africa’s Major.”
This year’s field also includes home favourite and defending champion Branden Grace as well as his countryman and fellow Rolex Series winner Brandon Stone, who secured the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open title in July.
Bjørn is part of an illustrious list of former Nedbank Golf Challenge champions, including the late, great Seve Ballesteros (1983 and 1984), Ernie Els (1999, 2000 and 2002), Bernhard Langer (1985 and 1991), Colin Montgomerie (1996), Sir Nick Faldo (1994) and Garcia in 2001 and 2003.
More recently, Sweden’s Alex Noren, a two-time Rolex Series winner and 2018 Ryder Cup star, captured his first title in South Africa in 2016.
Tickets for the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player are on sale now at www.nedbankgolfchallenge.com