2013 champion Bjørn returns to Sun City
The Ryder Cup captain joins Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen and rising star Brandon Stone.
Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjørn will return to a happy hunting ground in Gary Player Country Club, the scene of his last European Tour victory, after receiving an invite for the 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.
The Dane will make a welcome return to South Africa, where four years ago he swept aside challenges from the likes of Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, and Justin Rose to claim the 15th European Tour title of his glittering career.
Bjørn, whose 2013 triumph in Sun City was his first on South African soil, will tee it up alongside some of the world’s finest players in the $7.5 million tournament, which takes place from November 9-12 and is part of the 2017 Rolex Series – a collection of eight premium events.
“I am delighted to be returning to the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City for the Nedbank Golf Challenge,” Bjørn said.
“It is a terrific event in a beautiful part of the world and I am very much looking forward to competing there once again.
“My victory in December 2013 was right up there with one of the best weeks of my career, although it was also a week tinged with sadness, not just for the people of South Africa, but for the entire world due to the passing of Nelson Mandela on the first day of the tournament.
“I was proud to win in the great man’s country that week and shooting 65 in the final round to beat a field of that quality was something to truly cherish. There is no doubt I will be returning with happy memories.”
Joining Bjørn in ‘Africa’s Major’ is Major Champion Louis Oosthuizen. The South African, who claimed his maiden Major title at The Open Championship at St Andrews in 2010, will aim to improve on his previous best finish of fourth place when he returns to Gary Player Country Club for a seventh time.
Also teeing it up in the lucrative tournament – which has a limited field of 72 and is the 46th of 47 events in the 2017 Race to Dubai – is rising star Brandon Stone.
The 24 year old, who hails from Pretoria, already has two European Tour titles to his name after triumphing at the 2016 BMW SA Open hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni and the 2017 Alfred Dunhill Championship, and is widely regarded as one of South Africa’s brightest young talents.
THE EUROPEAN TOUR - CELEBRATING GOLF. WORLDWIDE.
About The European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2017, the European Tour International Schedule features a minimum of 47 tournaments in 26 countries, including eight Rolex Series events, all part of the Race to Dubai.
Celebrating the global connectivity of the European Tour and Dubai, the Race to Dubai is a season-long competition to crown the European Tour’s Number One player, an honour which in 2016 went to Sweden’s Henrik Stenson for the second time, and which since 2009 has also been achieved three times by Rory McIlroy, as well as by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald. Formerly known as the Order of Merit, points are accumulated based on prize money won, with the top 10 ranked players at the end of the season sharing a $5million Race to Dubai bonus pool.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 26 Members celebrate a total of 52 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour.
The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which featured 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which featured 13 tournaments in nine countries in 2016. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup.
The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Emirates and Titleist as Official Partners.
About the Rolex Series
Commencing in 2017, the Rolex Series is the premium tournament category on the European Tour’s International Schedule. Presently comprising eight tournaments, staged in a variety of golfing locations around the world, Rolex Series events will offer a minimum prize fund of US$7 million.
The 2017 roster of Rolex Series tournaments include: the BMW PGA Championship (May 25-28); the HNA Open de France (June 29-July 2); the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation (July 6-9); the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (July 13-16); the Italian Open (October 12-15), the Turkish Airlines Open (November 2-5); the Nedbank Golf Challenge (November 9-12); and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (November 16-19), where the leading golfer of the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex will be crowned.