Stenson, Rose confirmed

by Golfer on

Another four players have been confirmed for the 2013 NGC, with the two major names being the FedEx Cup champion Henrik Stenson and the US Open winner Justin Rose.

The other two are Americans Gary Woodland and Kevin Streelman.

The four official press releases can be found below.

Sizzling Stenson signs up for Nedbank Golf Challenge

Swede Henrik Stenson has accepted an invitation to compete in this year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge, bringing arguably the hottest golfer in the world this year to the Gary Player Country Club from 5-8 December.

Since his finish of second in the Open Championship in July, Stenson went on an incredible run that saw him finish third in the PGA Championship and then win the Deutsche Bank Championship and the Tour Championship to claim the overall FedEx Cup title and a $10 million bonus.

It marked one of the most amazing comebacks in the game, with Stenson ranked as low as 230th in the world at the start of 2012 and then rising to a career high of fourth on the official world golf ranking in 2013.

He returns to Sun City seeking a second Nedbank Golf Challenge title after beating American Kenny Perry by a crushing nine strokes in 2008.

“Henrik has been a phenomenon of the 2013 season. He’s probably the most talked about player of the year and we are honoured to have him in our field,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.

“When he won here in 2008 he thrilled the fans with a display of ball striking that was of the best ever seen in this tournament. It is incredibly exciting that we can welcome him back at the end of such a magnificent year for him.”

Stenson has a proud history at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. He finished second in 2006, fourth in 2007, first in 2008, and then second in 2009.

He described his 2008 victory as, “Definitely one of my greatest achievements”. His nine-stroke triumph that year stands as one of the greatest in the history of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, with Nick Price winning by 12 shots in 1993.

US Open champ Rose targets Nedbank Golf Challenge

US Open champion Justin Rose will make his fifth appearance in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in what has been an incredibly successful season for the South African-born professional.

Rose is the latest to confirm his place in the 30-man field at the Gary Player Country Club from 5-8 December for the $6.5 million tournament.

The English professional broke through with his first Major victory in a year in which he rose to a career-high third on the official world golf ranking.

Rose became the first English professional in 43 years to win the US Open when he beat Phil Mickelson and Jason Day by two shots at Merion, and the first English winner of a Major since Nick Faldo won the 1996 Masters.

It was an emotional triumph for the man who first stunned the golf world when as a 17-year-old amateur he holed a 50-metre chip from the 18th fairway at Royal Birkdale during the 1998 Open Championship, and then struggled through 21 consecutive missed cuts at the start of his professional career.

Rose’s affinity for South Africa stretches beyond just his family ties to this country. It was in Johannesburg that Rose won his first professional title in the 2002 Dunhill Championship at Houghton Golf Club. That same year he won the Nashua Masters at the Wild Coast Sun.

But “Africa’s Major” has to date eluded him. Rose came closest to a victory in the Nedbank Golf Challenge when he was beaten by a single shot by Trevor Immelman in 2007.

“We are delighted to welcome Justin back amidst what has been an outstanding year for him. With his South African roots Justin is always a favourite at Sun City. He represents a new generation of professionals making their mark in the Majors and it’s a great coup for us to have the reigning US Open champion in our field,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Nedbank Golf Challenge,” added Rose. “I have so many great memories of South Africa and so many friends there.”

Rose heads back to Sun City during what has been a golden period for English golfers in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Lee Westwood’s two victories in 2010 and 2011 mean Rose is seeking a third English victory at Sun City in four years.

Big-hitting Woodland set for Nedbank Golf Challenge

American Gary Woodland, one of the biggest hitters on the PGA Tour, will make his debut in the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club from 5-8 December.

Woodland joins the 30-man field challenging for the $6.5 million tournament at the end of a season in which he won the Reno-Tahoe Open on the PGA Tour and finished tied second in The Barclays during the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

“Gary is one of the most exciting young players on the PGA Tour. He hits the ball an incredible distance and he’s going to be a big favourite with the fans,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.

Woodland has been playing golf since the age of two and also excelled at baseball and basketball. He won four college tournaments before turning professional in 2007.

The Kansas-born golfer spent most of his early career on the old Nationwide Tour, then gained his PGA Tour card at the qualifying school in 2008. He failed to retain his playing privileges there, but regained his card at the 2010 qualifying school.

In 2011 he won the Transitions Championship on the PGA Tour and teamed up with Matt Kuchar to win the World Cup of Golf and was on his way to finishing the season ranked 17th on the PGA Tour moneylist. That was also his best year in the Majors, with Woodland finishing in the top 30 of all of them and achieving a career best of tied 12th in the PGA Championship.

This year he claimed his second PGA Tour title in the Reno-Tahoe Open, and his best finish in the Majors was 74th in the PGA Championship.

Woodland is the first American to confirm his place in the 2013 field for the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

‘Million Dollar Man’ Streelman confirmed for Nedbank Golf Challenge

Kevin Streelman is the second American professional to confirm his place in the revamped Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The expanded eligibility criteria to allow for 10 players within the top 30 on the final 2013 FedEx Cup standings has deepened the American representation in the $6.5 million tournament at the Gary Player Country Club from 5-8 December.

Streelman heads to Sun City on the back of a season in which he claimed his maiden victory on the PGA Tour in the Tampa Bay Classic.

His season has also included a tied second in The Players Championship, tied third in the RBC Heritage, tied sixth in the Wells Fargo Championship, and tied 10th in the Humana Challenge to finish 13th on the FedEx Cup standings. And it follows a 2012 season in which he had three top tens on the PGA Tour.

Streelman will make his debut in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, but is one of the few professionals to have already banked a million-dollar cheque at the start of his career.

The American won the PGA Tour’s inaugural Kodak Challenge in 2009, posting the lowest cumulative score for the 18 designated holes throughout the season.

Streelman worked his way onto the PGA Tour by going through all three stages of qualifying school in 2007.

Then at the 2008 US Open at Torrey Pines, Streelman came through local and sectional qualifying and opened with a three-under-par 68 to share the lead after the first round. He fell off the pace thereafter to finish tied 53rd. This year he achieved his best finish in a Major of tied 12th in the PGA Championship.

“We’re delighted to welcome Kevin to his first Nedbank Golf Challenge. The fact that we have yet another rising American star in the field vindicates our decision to expand the eligibility criteria of the tournament, and will give fans the opportunity to witness some of the PGA Tour’s next biggest stars,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.

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