The Rolex Series continues this week as the European Tour heads to South Africa for the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player. We have picked out five things you need to know…
Food to dine for
In addition to the strong field and Rolex Series status, the Sun City showpiece will offer a culinary experience that easily holds its own amongst the biggest and best sporting events in the world. Ronald Ramsamy, the Sun International Group Executive Chef visited some of the biggest tournaments in the world to research what to offer at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Among the mouth-watering food on offer is Kung Fu Cowboy, a fusion between American-style burgers and Asian food such as sushi, Brew Monkey’s pub-style food and the Food Factory, Ramsamy’s take on burgers and bunny chows.
On the tee
A very strong field will tee it up in Sun City, headlined by four-time Major Champion Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman will make his third Rolex Series appearance of the year after the BMW PGA Championship and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation. Masters Tournament Champions Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel, 2010 Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and 23-time European Tour winner Lee Westwood will all take part in what is locally known as “Africa’s Major”.
More than just a golf tournament, the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player will be the place to party this week. Under the 2018 theme of ParTee on the Green, the entertainment runs all week with a marimba band in the Cascades Hotel, drumming in The Palace of the Lost City, live music in the Superbowl, DJs at the famous Beach Party and cover bands rocking the hospitality village. Golf fans can expect a hospitality village jampacked with a wide offering of food and drinks to go with the live music and exciting sponsor activations. There will even be a big screen on Saturday November 10 to watch the Springbok Test against France.
Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player produced a popular winner last year; South African Branden Grace. He was the first homegrown winner of the event since Trevor Immelman in 2007 and the victory catapulted him to ninth on the Race to Dubai Rankings, up from 34th. The 30 year old will now attempt join Justin Rose in the exclusive club of men to successfully defend a Rolex Series title. Rose, 38, became World Number One following his play-off win against Li Haotong at the Turkish Airlines Open and in doing so made history by successfully defending a Rolex Series event.
Ryder Cup royalty
Team Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup Captain Thomas Bjørn will tee it up in Sun City, the scene of his most recent European Tour victory. The Dane led Team Europe to a monumental victory at Le Golf National in September but has since altered his focus back to his playing career, teeing it up in the Sky Sports British Masters and the Andalucía Valderrama Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation. Bjørn’s victory in 2014 came courtesy of rounds of 67-70-66-65 to beat Spaniard Garcia and Welshman Jamie Donaldson by two shots.