Sun City field confirmed

2010-10-21 10:16

Cape Town - The return of Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington, together with the entry of Open Champion Louis Oosthuizen, will ensure the 2010 Nedbank Golf Challenge can boast a number of major titles in its field.

Els (3), Harrington (3), Retief Goosen (2) and Oosthuizen (1) bring the total of golf's big-four championships to nine, but more importantly for South African fans the Big Easy is making his first appearance since 2007.

The three-time NCG champion and all-time leading money winner at the event is a huge coup for the organisers, and tournament director Alastair Roper is thrilled at the quality of the field, with potential world No 1 Lee Westwood also among the 12.

“We can never hope to make accurate predictions, but judging by the form shown by our invitees this year it is fair to assume that we can look forward to a thrilling contest,” said Roper. “We were always hopeful that we could secure the participation of the very best players for what is a very special tournament, and I am pleased to say that we have achieved this.”

Along with Els, Goosen and Oosthuizen, Tim Clark, who has also had an excellent year on the PGA Tour with a victory in The Players Championship, the South African challenge is a very strong one.

Taking them on will be a strong international contingent led by Lee Westwood, the highest-ranked player in the field currently at number two in the world, and who is likely to move into the number one position at the end of October. “Lee has made no secret of the fact that he loves competing in Sun City, and his acceptance of our invitation was most pleasing,” said Roper. “He has made a lot of friends in South Africa and his performances over the last two seasons would suggest that he is ready to take revenge for his defeat in the playoff against Ernie 10 years ago.”

This year there is an intriguing mix of talent that includes Italian sensation Eduardo Molinari, who has taken the European Tour by storm. He has the personality and a style of play that is sure to increase his fan base in Sun City. With Justin Rose and Ross Fisher also competing, two established stars that are also at the top of their games, there is no shortage of young firepower.

The experienced Harrington, who makes his first appearance since winning a trio of major titles, and the revitalised Miguel Angel Jimenez, will also add spice to the tournament. The defending champion Robert Allenby has again been the model of consistency this year, and although Anders Hansen will be considered to be an outsider in this company, if he can produce the brand of golf that earned him the Sunshine Tour’s order of merit last season he will not be outclassed.

“We obviously base our selection criteria on world rankings and performances in the major championships when we issue our invitations. Our aim is to secure the participation of 12 top-ranked players in the world, but that is unrealistic,” says Roper.

“Tiger Woods hosts the Chevron World Challenge which is scheduled for the same week, and this puts us in a difficult position. The lack of top American players in the field is unfortunate - the likes of Jim Furyk will be defending his Chevron title, and Phil Mickelson, has committed to play in Japan the same week as our tournament.”

Commenting on the 30th anniversary event, Andy Scott, Nedbank’s Head of Group Sponsorships, is confident that the field will attract the golf loving public and mark a fitting celebration of one of South Africa’s oldest sporting events. “The Nedbank Golf Challenge is undoubtedly an iconic event on the South African sporting calendar and it is a unique privilege to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the event at the end of the greatest sporting year in the country’s history.”

“After 30 years it is clear that the Nedbank Golf Challenge has established itself as Africa’s Major and the quality of this year’s field is proof of this,” he says.

The 12-man field is as follows:

Ernie Els (RSA)
Retief Goosen (RSA)
Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)
Lee Westwood (ENG)
Robert Allenby (AUS)
Tim Clark (RSA)
Edoardo Molinari (ITA)
Justin Rose (ENG)
Ross Fisher (ENG)
Padraig Harrington (IRE)
Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP)
Anders Hansen (DEN)

Prize money for the event has been increase to $5 million, with the winner walking away with a cool $1 250 00, while last place can console himself with $250 00.

Prize money breakdown:

1st - $1 250 000
2nd - $660 000
3rd - $450 000
4th - $350 000
5th - $330 000
6th - $310 000
7th - $300 000
8th - $290 000
9th - $280 000
10th - $270 000
11th - $260 000
12th - $250 000 


  • Alan H - 2010-10-21 10:24

    No Americans? Sad I think. Is the Challenge losing its lustre?

  • Wozza - 2010-10-21 10:37

    So for coming last you get R1.75m... Amazing!

  • norman - 2010-10-21 10:44

    Roper says he is happy with this field, hell man, he sure has very slow standards, this field besides Westwood is very average..we will be giving Sun City a big miss this year

  • Weepee - 2010-10-21 11:03

    Wow! 5 players in the top 20 on this years money list and 4 who are in the top 20 on the Fedex World ranking for 2010. Harrington & Westwood are not featured in these two catagories but are high on the overall World ranking list. All in all this is an awesome field. Well done to the organisers.

  • alex - 2010-10-21 11:08

    9 of the players are in the Top 25 in the World. Including the world number 2. Excellent field. Not many other individual sports in SA can attract players of that caliber to compete over here. Only world cups and championships attracts the top boys so well done to Nedbank!

  • Cobus - 2010-10-21 11:09

    Why do you need any Americans if you can fill their spots with top quality Europeans........who won the Ryder Cup??

  • Lance - 2010-10-21 11:15

    Why must we have Americans??

  • Sharon - 2010-10-21 11:17

    Sun City Line up.

  • Tiger - 2010-10-21 11:21

    Screw the yanks!! This is the best line up in years!!!

  • Jamie - 2010-10-21 11:33

    One of these years it will be an all SA cast!

  • Tiger - 2010-10-21 11:36

    No Tiger in the circus?

  • Jason W - 2010-10-21 11:43

    Who needs Americans at Sun City when we have all of the best South Africa player like The Big Easy, The Goose, Shrek and many more at the best African golf tournament under Africa skies :-)

  • Rudi - 2010-10-21 11:44

    Where is SA order of merit leader - or is your invatation only open to who ????????????????

  • Themba - 2010-10-21 11:57

    Would I trek to Sun City to watch these guys? Absolutely NO. Louis, perhaps, but the rest of the guys are as exciting as watching paint dry. The write up could have been written by Nedbank's Marketing Department

  • Jonny - 2010-10-21 12:36

    Great field in my opinion - good job Nedbank - why no black players though? - Absa would have a thing or two to say about this ; - )

  • Johan - 2010-10-21 12:55

    Do these guys get appearance fees on top of the prize money?? Hmmm. Othewise, great field! Very excited!

  • Gareth - 2010-10-21 13:29

    @Themba You have no clue about golf. rather shut it

  • William Shakespeare - 2010-10-21 13:33

    The Nedbank without Ernie is not the same. So, for me, as long as Ernie is playing we are in for a cracker - he's found some form again and isn't Westwood kind of close to being the world #1? . It it unfair to compare this event (for me it's more an event than a compo!) with other tourneys on the world stage - it does not count as a Major (yet) and SA is hell far away. And the top okes don't need the dosh. Btw: Amazing how this time it kind of doesn't matter that Woods isn't here...

  • @ Rudi - 2010-10-21 13:34

    @ RUDI...Anders Hansen won the Sunshine Tour order of merit you n****r!!!!

  • BT - 2010-10-21 13:46

    @Jonny. Please do tell, other than Tiger, what other black player do you believe qualifies to be in the field?

  • Proffie - 2010-10-21 13:47

    No Yankees? Thank God for small mercies! The European tour delivers more exciting golf anyway. So glad to see so many of them accepting invitations. Good field all in all. @Rudi..Anders Hansen IS in the field, as the Order of Merit winner on last years sunshine tour.

  • TheBigEasy - 2010-10-21 14:03

    Great looking field. Nice to have no americans. But would have liked to see some more exciting players entering to attract the crowds like Camillo Villiagas and Rory McIllroy ( even though he didnt perform last year), Martin Kaymer or even Ricky Fowler to get the crowds going a bit.

  • Virus - 2010-10-21 14:11

    Anders Hansen won the order of Merit.

  • Chadboy - 2010-10-21 14:12

    Glad and proud of the field luckely Nedbank sponsores it. Imagine if ABSA ran the challenge we would still be fighting over quota, LOL

  • Rodders - 2010-10-21 14:18

    great field. Fantastic to see Ernie Els back . Cannot wait for the tournement to start.

  • booi booi - 2010-10-21 15:29

    Sorry Wozza, you are in the wrong profession. We make such amounts in politics and BEE, you have no choice if you are pale try sport or real business

  • NGC - 2010-10-21 16:27

    Would be even better if Charl Schwartzel was in the field. Welcome back Ernie, great to see you at Sun City again.

  • Shirley Long - 2010-10-21 16:28

    Not too bad, luckily for South Africians Ernie and Retief are playing well. We will miss the Americans, but some of the field only so so. But hey guys you all love watching our own. I do

  • NGC - 2010-10-21 16:31

    Would be even better if Charl Schwartzel was in the field. Welcome back Ernie, great to see you at Sun City again.

  • war - whites against racism - 2010-10-21 18:05

    Worst field yet I reckon, pity. This used to be a great event. And to many South Africans in the field. They need to trade out for a few Americans to make it a class field. I understand their problems, but one wonders if its even worth hosting with this field?

  • golf lover - 2010-10-21 18:23

    At least our chics are safe, no Tiger!

  • Kingsley Africa - 2010-10-22 07:03

    BORING........ It's propbably the only cup that ErnieEls can really challenge for..............

  • KUNZIE - 2010-10-22 10:25

    Tigers Chevron tounament has unfortunately made it more difficult to get the best of the best into this small field.But we all watch the European Tour during the day and the PGA tour later in the evening anyway.I think this is a great field.Who wants to watch Phil Michelson pretending he wants to be in Africa anyway.Ernie does add something to the tournament and we missed him the last couple of years.

  • Wazza - 2010-10-22 10:28

    This is a great field, full of top quality golfers. All those asking for americans don't know what they are talking about ........ these guys can play brilliant golf!

  • @WAZZA - 2010-10-22 15:45

    Such an immature comment. Really, this field could do with two americans, I am sure NGC would agree, Stricker of Furyk or Mickelson would have been nice. But yes, Tiger's tourney seems to make it more difficult. But without US players they will never get the profile needed for a big tournament. To the other comments, yes, its great to have Ernie back

  • John - 2010-10-22 21:45

    Thats a great field! People that think otherwise don't know anything about golf. Westwood may well be the number one golfer in the world at thats stage. Lots of major champions, and also some great characters in molenari and jiminez, both Ryder Cup stars. People don't know how lucky they are to watch these golfers- not many people get the chance outside US and Europe.

  • Daniel - 2010-10-23 09:36

    I think it's a great field. I think not having Americans in the field is just AMAZING we don’t need the arrogance in the field anyways. Welcome back Ernie we have missed you. Going up just to watch Westwood, great guy, great golfer, all in all just a great all rounder. NGC always is a special event

  • Daniel - 2010-10-23 09:37

    I think it's a great field. I think not having Americans in the field is just AMAZING we don’t need the arrogance in the field anyways. Welcome back Ernie we have missed you. Going up just to watch Westwood, great guy, great golfer, all in all just a great all rounder. NGC always is a special event

  • Des - 2010-11-04 16:38

    Something's missing here affirmative players???... What will Julius say??....I guess they should have asked him first?

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