Nedbank Challenge-Sun City
Who will win this week on the European Tour?
The Nedbank Challenge has been hosted at The Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa since 1981. At 7,831 yards long it is a course for the big hitters although the ball does fly further at altitude.
Previous course winners taking part this week are Lee Westwood (three times), Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen and the defending champion Thomas Bjorn. With 6 players having won the Nedbank back to back in the last 29 years Mr Bjorn will be looking forward to the week, 17 of the 30 strong field are playing in the tournament for the first time and no debutant has won the title in the last 25 years.
Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson came close last year finishing runner up to Thomas Bjorn. Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson also came close in 2013 but neither player is playing at The Gary Player Country Club this week.
The golf course has been lengthened in recent years and is now a huge layout with narrow Kikuyu fairways and small, fast bentgrass greens (10.5-11 on the stimp) surrounded by bunkers and undulating terrain. There are two par 5’s on each nine but they are no push over, the 9th being one of the courses feature holes is 596 yards with an island green. The rough is also kikuyu but is not very penal due to the dry weather and lack of growth.
All in all it looks like big hitters could do well this week so the powerful debutant Brooks Koepka who averages 307 yards off the tee this season could be one to watch, Jamie Donaldson and Lee Westwood could also go close.
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