Golf

Furyk not tempted by Sun City

2011-12-01 10:35
Jim Furyk (File)

Thousand Oakes - Jim Furyk found it surprisingly easy to resist the temptation to miss this week's Chevron World Challenge for the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa where he is a twice former champion.

While the Nedbank will always hold a special place in the American's heart, the chance to compete on home soil in a charity event hosted by Tiger Woods proved to be the trump card.

"This is such a nice event and it's here in our country for us," Furyk, the 2009 champion, told reporters at Sherwood Country Club on Wednesday.

"Years ago, I used to go play in South Africa at Sun City and I won a couple times over there. I really enjoy the people there, and I love the golf course.

"But I've got this event. Tiger runs it. I've played a lot of golf alongside of him, and he runs a really good event for a wonderful cause. It's here in the US and it's just so easy to come over here."

Furyk, who won the Nedbank Challenge in 2005 and 2006, is one of 18 players competing this week at Sherwood for the $1.2 million first prize.

While the elite event can boast four players in the world's top 10 and eight in the top 20, it has attracted a mainly US field with most of the leading Europeans competing this week either in the Nedbank Challenge or the Hong Kong Open.

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell, who beat Woods in a playoff to claim last year's Chevron title, is at Sun City this week along with British world number one Luke Donald, the 2005 Chevron champion.

Woods, however, said on Wednesday that he was delighted with the quality of players assembled at Sherwood.

"We've got another great field here," the 14-time major winner told reporters on the eve of the tournament. "We've got a bunch of the guys who were down in Australia playing the Presidents Cup.

"Gary (Woodland) and Kuch (Matt Kuchar) just won the World Cup and they're here, coming in from China, so that's very exciting.

"This tournament's been fantastic over the years. This is our 13th here, so I'm very, very excited as to how it's progressed over the years now with full (world) ranking points. This tournament's gone up in stature."

Woods's sole concern was the expected strong winds for Thursday's opening round.

"Overall we got the golf course in perfect shape again," the 35-year-old American said. "Only interesting day is going to be tomorrow with the wind coming in but, other than that, the forecast is fantastic."

American world number six Steve Stricker and eighth-ranked Australian Jason Day head the Chevron field which also includes Britain's Paul Casey, South Korea's KJ Choi and Americans Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Zach Johnson and Nick Watney.

Proceeds from the event go to Tiger Woods Foundation projects and local youth charities.

Read more on:    ngc
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