Changes to Africa’s Major
Big changes as the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge prepares to tee off
These are just a couple of a series of exciting changes to the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge, hosted by Gary Player, as well as the other final Rolex Series events of the European Tour season.
Affectionately dubbed "Africa's Major", the tournament, which takes place at Sun City from 14-17 November, will once again be the penultimate event on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, wedged between the Turkish Airlines Open (7-10 November) and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai (21-24 November).
First played in 1981, the Nedbank Golf Challenge became part of the European Tour International Schedule in 2014 and was named as a fixture on the eight-tournament Rolex Series on the Race to Dubai three years later.
The tournament has long been a highlight on the South African sporting calendar, with more than 72 000 fans watching Lee Westwood claiming the honours in 2018 and it’s set to be an even bigger sporting extravaganza this year, with a number of changes European Tour CEO Keith Pelley says will provide a "tremendous incentive" for the players.
The winner of the 2019 edition will now receive a winner’s cheque for US$2.5 million – double the US$1.25 million banked by Englishman Westwood – while the remainder of the field will play for the remaining US$5million.
A winner’s cheque that’s been bumped up to a staggering US$2,5 million.
Some 2 500 more Race to Dubai points on offer.
The Race to Dubai points on offer have increased to 10,000, up from 7,500 in 2018, making the tournament an even more enticing proposition as the world’s leading golfers battle to secure a place in the prestigious DP World Tour Championship.
This year’s tournament field has been reduced to feature the leading 60 players available from the Race to Dubai as they look to seal a spot in the top 50 and qualification to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, which now boasts a first prize of US$3 million, the largest in the history of golf.
Nine-time Major winner and tournament host Player said the evolution of the event had been "simply spectacular". "I'm delighted to host an event that will continue to put South Africa on the map, not only as a superb golf country, but for our overall tourism too," he said.
A further three places will then be added to the final Nedbank field, made up of three invitations and including the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner.
In further good news, the raft of changes come as title sponsor Nedbank announced a three-year extension to its deal.
Sun International CEO Anthony Leeming was thrilled by the prospect of hosting another compelling tournament at Sun City. "We're delighted with the changes made by the European Tour and the continuation of our longstanding partnership with Nedbank and the European Tour. These relationships are key to the continued growth of 'Africa’s Major' and its status as one of the premier tournaments on the Tour. We look forward to hosting everyone at Sun City in its 40th year since opening."