Simon Dyson | Player Profile | Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Simon Dyson

England's Dyson plays a shot on the third hole on the final day at the Dutch Open Golf Tournament in Hilversum

England’s Simon Dyson is quite obviously looking forward to making his debut in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.  He quite clearly hopes to follow the footsteps of another great English golfer in Nick Faldo, who won at Sun City in 1994.  But he also has enough admiration for Ernie Els to see him looking forward to a trip into Els’s backyard.  “The one guy I really enjoy playing with is Ernie Els. He just rubs off on you on the golf course. His swing is so smooth, he is so relaxed, you start to raise your game. Everything about him, even his putting stroke is so smooth. You start to raise your game…plus he is a nice bloke as well,” says Dyson.

After representing Great Britian and Ireland in the Walker Cup in 1999, Dyson turned professional in September of that year.  He went East and honed his competitive skills on the Asian Tour. His three victories there in 2000 saw him top the Order of Merit.  In 2001 he joined the European Tour, but had to wait until 2006 for his maiden title there in the Indonesia Open.  But with the first win out of the way, Dyson quickly added his second when he won the KLM Open later that year.

That season saw him break into the top 100 on the world rankings for the first time in his career.  But it was in 2009 that Dyson really reached his potential. He won the KLM Open again and also the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the home of golf in St Andrews on his way to finishing eighth on the Race to Dubai rankings.  And in 2011 Dyson has continued his climb. He won the Irish Open and then added a third KLM Open title for his sixth win on the European Tour, and which lifted him into the top 30 in the world for the first time.

His third victory in the KLM Open also saw him join an illustrious list of three-time winners of this event, including Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer.  “I’m absolutely delighted to be on the same trophy as names like those two,” Dyson said. “It’s something special, a dream come true really. To win any title once is tough, but to win it three times is a fantastic feeling.”

Dyson’s standout performances in the Majors includes tied sixth in the 2007 PGA Championship and tied ninth in the 2011 Open Championship.

Born in York in England, Dyson hails from a sporting family. His grandfather was a jockey and his uncle played for Tottenham Hotspur. Dyson was close to following his uncle into football and was on the books of both York City and Scarborough as a teenager.  “I was training with York City Football Club, but every time I was on the pitch I just wanted to be on the golf course. The golf always took priority,” said Dyson.  It was his older brother Nick who first encouraged him to take up golf. By 16 Dyson was a scratch handicap. His amateur career included second in the English Amateur and victory in the 1999 Finnish Amateur.

Described as being as “honest as a pint of hand-pulled real ale”, Dyson makes no apologies for the emotion he brings to his own game, as opposed to the calmness of players such as Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood. “Rory’s temperament is unbelievable for such a young lad. He is very similar to Lee in that respect. When Lee walks down a fairway you won’t know if he is four under, or four over. That is the same with Rory. Where as with me, I wear my heart on my sleeve. You can tell if I am six under or ten over. But that’s just me.”

Dyson is not a great fan of the travelling required from a professional golfer.  “It is a great life, but it is like anything. If you do it too much you will get sick of it. People don’t always realise the amount of travelling you have to do. You get home Sunday night and you are immediately packing for the next week without having time to put your feet up.”

But there’s no doubt that a maiden appearance in the Nedbank Golf Challenge will have him happily packing his bags for Sun City.

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