Sun City set to sizzle this weekend

by Michael Vlismas on

SA sizzling weekend of the Nedbank Golf Challenge looms large under the African sun, and it’s already been a memorable 31st tournament for the elite field of professionals and Champions Tour players.

Nicholis Louw will be performing at the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City

Nicholis Louw

The sounds of rock band Just Jinjer have been ringing out through the Hospitality Village, and have been accompanied by performances from other leading musicians such as Prime Circle, Nicholis Louw and Kurt Darren. And top comedians Stuart Taylor and Barry Hilton have been entertaining the fans.

The famous Nedbank Golf Challenge Beach Party was another huge success enjoyed by the players, although tournament leader Graeme McDowell has kept himself in check as he heads into the weekend seeking victory. “I can’t enjoy the Castle as much as I would like, or the great South African wine,” he said. He would do well to sample some of David Frost’s excellent wine. Frost is relishing his time on the Champions Tour and being back at Sun City for the Nedbank Senior Challenge, which he says gives him something to do in his later years. “I see a guy like Tom Kite out there hitting golf balls from dawn until dusk, and I’ve thought that’s maybe not what I want to do after golf. So I asked Gil Morgan what he’ll do when he retires, and he said, ‘I enjoy gardening and spending time with the grandkids’. That’s not going to do it for me either. Hopefully me getting into the wine business will give me something to do after golf,” he said.

Former SA Open Champion, James Kingston, George Schwartzel and Charl Schwartzel catching up at the Beach Party.

Former SA Open Champion, James Kingston, George Schwartzel and Charl Schwartzel catching up at the Beach Party.

It’s set to be a hot weekend on the fairways, and defending champion Lee Westwood has a bit of tongue-in-cheek advice for the rookies in the field on how to handle the Gary Player Country Club and the heat. “It’s nearly impossible to win on your first outing here,” he said by way of encouragement. “This golf course takes a lot of learning and experience is key. Things jump out at you from the bushes, even if you’re on the fairway. It can be brutal out there. It’s obviously very hot, and it’s important not to drink any water.”

Italy’s Francesco Molinari has a lot of catching up to do on the weekend. But he is equally honoured to be making his debut in this tournament following his brother Edoardo’s appearance last year. “I didn’t want to be the only one in the family not to have played in the Nedbank Golf Challenge,” he said. There’s no doubt it’s going to be a weekend of world-class golf and entertainment.

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