Garcia, Donald set for Sun Cityon November 8, 2013
European stalwarts Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald will be in the 2013 NGC field after another four names were confirmed on Friday.
Joining them will be Zimbabwe’s Brendon de Jonge – making his debut – and American DA Points.
The four official press releases can be found below.
Garcia hunting history in Nedbank Golf Challenge
Sergio Garcia will seek to become the first foreigner to win three Nedbank Golf Challenge titles when he tees it up in the $6.5 million at the Gary Player Country Club from 5-8 December.
The Spaniard is the latest to confirm his place in the expanded 30-man field at the end of an extremely consistent season for him in which his tied eighth at the Masters marked his 18th top-10 finish in a Major, and where he has claimed five top-10s on the European Tour and four top-10s on the PGA Tour, including tied eighth in the Players Championship.
Garcia won the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2001 and 2003, beating Ernie Els and Retief Goosen respectively and both in playoffs. With that he joined Spanish great Seve Ballesteros, Germany’s Bernhard Langer, American Jim Furyk, and England’s Lee Westwood with two Nedbank Golf Challenge titles apiece.
The only players to have ever won three titles are the Southern African trio of Ernie Els, Nick Price and David Frost.
“Sergio has had an incredible season and he always brings such excitement to the Nedbank Golf Challenge. We’re thrilled to have him in the field this year and looking to make his own bit of history in the event,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Garcia certainly has a special affinity for the Nedbank Golf Challenge. He enjoyed the rare honour of making his debut in this event during his rookie season as a professional in 1999, and finishing ninth. It capped an incredible start to his professional career in which he won twice on the European Tour in 1999 and famously duelled with Tiger Woods for the PGA Championship that year before finishing second.
His victory in the 2001 Nedbank Golf Challenge was one of the most dramatic in the history of this event. He closed with a final round of 63 to tie Ernie Els, and then on the first playoff hole he holed his chip on the par-three 16th to win. Then in 2003 he beat another South African to the title in Retief Goosen, and also in a playoff.
“As a winner of 24 tournaments worldwide and a veteran of six Ryder Cups and now playing in his ninth Nedbank Golf Challenge, Sergio is one of the true legends of this tournament and it’s great to have him in our field as we enter a new era in our history,” said Roper.
The popular Englishman has confirmed his place in the Sun City showpiece as he seeks to end a frustrating year on a high.
While claiming his first top-10 in the US Open and five top-10s on the PGA Tour this year including tied ninth in the Bridgestone Invitational, Donald has been unable to match the incredible highs of his 2011 season.
That year Donald reached world number one status and became the first player in history to finish top of both the PGA Tour and European Tour moneylists in the same season, earning himself an MBE from the Queen.
But this year he missed his first cut in a European Tour event in the Malaysian Open, and he also missed the cut in the Open Championship and PGA Championship, the first time in his career he’s missed consecutive Major cuts in a single year.
But Donald has been known to follow up slumps in his game with some sublime golf. He went four years without a victory before his triumph in the 2010 Madrid Masters and which then ushered in his historic 2011 season.
Donald’s best finish in the Nedbank Golf Challenge is fifth on his debut in 2005.
“Luke is one of the true gentlemen of the game and it is always a pleasure to welcome him back to Sun City,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
“He is always well received by the fans, and I know he is hungry to end 2013 on a high note.”
Debut for De Jonge in Nedbank Golf Challenge
Brendon de Jonge will hope to emulate his idol Nick Price when he makes his debut in the $6.5 million Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club from 5-8 December.
De Jonge has qualified for the 30-man field at the end of what has been a memorable year for the young Zimbabwean.
A strong finish to the FedEx Cup combined with his trademark aggressive play saw him selected as one of Nick Price’s Captain’s Picks for the International Team for the Presidents Cup.
It was a resounding endorsement of a player who at one point had scored more rounds in the 60s than any other player on the PGA Tour this year and made more birdies than any other PGA Tour player since 2009.
Now he has the opportunity to begin a new era for Zimbabwean golf in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
“Brendon is one of the most exciting players in the game at the moment. I’ve got no doubt he’ll continue the proud tradition of Zimbabwean golfers in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Many South Africans have never seen him play, so we’re really proud to be able to bring him to Sun City,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
De Jonge will seek to become the third Zimbabwean winner of the Nedbank Golf Challenge following Mark McNulty in 1986 and Nick Price in 1993, 1997 and 1998.
The winner of the 1999 Zimbabwean Amateur by a record 14 strokes has claimed four top-10s on the PGA Tour this year. He closed out the season in style when he made it into all four of the FedEx Cup Playoff tournaments and finished tied 19th in The Barclays, tied ninth in the Deutsche Bank Championship, tied 18th in the BMW Championship and tied 18th in the Tour Championship.
DA hoping to make a point in Nedbank Golf Challenge
Two-time PGA Tour winner DA (Darren Andrew) Points will join a strong American presence in this year’s $6.5 million Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club from 5-8 December.
Points is the third American to confirm his place in the field after Kevin Streelman and Gary Woodland.
Points claimed his second PGA Tour title in this year’s Shell Houston Open using a putter he had stolen from his mother’s golf bag. His previous victory came in the 2011 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, the same year he also claimed his best finish in a Major to date of tied 10th in the PGA Championship.
“Including the FedEx Cup as part of our eligibility criteria has really opened the door for a new generation of American professionals to come and play in the Nedbank Golf Challenge,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
“This is the most exciting aspect of our new format – being able to expose South African golf fans to players they’ve only ever seen on TV before.”
Points turned professional in 1999 on the back of an amateur career in which he won the Illinois Amateur three times and was beaten 3&2 in the quarterfinals of the 1999 US Amateur by Tiger Woods.
He won in his rookie season on the Web.com Tour, and went on to claim a total of four victories here. From 2001 to 2008, Points drifted on and off the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour.
In 2009 he produced his best season on the PGA Tour of four top-10s on his way to finishing 66th on the final moneylist and earning over $1 million in a season for the first time in his career. He has retained his card ever since.
Apart from his victory this year, Points also enjoyed a further three top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and finished 25th in the FedEx Cup.