The Draw – Legends lead the wayon November 28, 2012
The first round draw for this year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge and Nedbank Champions Challenge has been made.
The Nedbank Champions Challenge tees off first.
10h20 – Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer
Lyle was a late replacement for the injured Nick Price, and makes his first appearance in the Champions Challenge. But as a regular tour professional he played in the main tournament in 1985, 1989 and 1990.
Langer is back at the venue where in 1985 he became one of only four players to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge at his first attempt.
10h32 – Jeff Sluman and Ian Woosnam
Sluman was the winner of the inaugural Nedbank Champions Challenge in 2010, and Woosnam will forever be remembered by the Sun City faithful for his victory in 1987, when he holed a seven-iron from the fairway on 17 for an eagle.
10h44 – Jay Haas and Tom Watson
Haas is no stranger to Sun City. He played in his first Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2003 and finished in the middle of the field. A year later he finished tied fourth behind winner Retief Goosen.
And Watson is quite obviously one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game. He makes his debut in the Nedbank Champions Challenge, bringing with him over 70 titles worldwide, including eight Major championships.
10h56 – Fred Funk and Mark Calcavecchia
Arguably the finest moment of Funk’s career came when he won the Players Championship at the age of 48 in 2005.
And Calcavecchia returns to Sun City as the defending champion in the Nedbank Champions Challenge.
11h10 – Louis Oosthuizen and Francesco Molinari
When Oosthuizen was still a kid with dreams of greatness, he stuck a piece of paper above his bed with the words, “The greatest golfer the world has ever seen”. In 2010, he played to this potential when he won the Open Championship at St Andrews.
Molinari is the younger member of golf’s famous Italian brothers, but certainly doesn’t live in the shadows of his older brother Edoardo. He’s a three-time winner on the European Tour and twice a member of a winning European team in the Ryder Cup.
11h22 – Garth Mulroy and Martin Kaymer
Mulroy makes his debut in the Nedbank Golf Challenge as the Sunshine Tour’s champion golfer in 2011. Last year he won the Alfred Dunhill Championship and finished ninth in the South African Open to win the Sunshine Tour’s Order of Merit and secure his place in the 2012 Nedbank Golf Challenge field.
He’s playing alongside the man credited with winning the Ryder Cup for Europe. Kaymer holed the crucial eight-foot putt at Medinah that ensured Europe would retain the Cup.
11h34 – Peter Hanson and Charl Schwartzel
Hanson makes his debut in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, and he’s paired with a man who grew up with the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Schwartzel remembers how as a child he’d come to watch the tournament with his father and “stole” a practice ball from Ernie Els.
11h46 – Carl Pettersson and Bill Haas
Two players making their debut in this tournament. And Haas makes a bit of history as being the first time a father and son are playing at the same time in this event. His father Jay is playing in the Nedbank Champions Challenge.
11h58 – Nicolas Colsaerts and Paul Lawrie
Colsaerts brings his big-hitting game to Sun City for the first time, while Lawrie is making his second appearance after finishing 12th in 1999.
12h10 – Justin Rose and Lee Westwood
Arguably the feature pairing of the first round. The South African-born Rose with the adopted South African Westwood. Rose has come close to winning this event before, while Westwood is hunting a place in history as the first player to win it three times in a row.