Sunshine Tour

European Ryder Cup captain returns to Sun City

2017-09-04 14:25
Thomas Bjorn (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn 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.

Bjorn, 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,” Bjorn 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 Bjorn 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 SA Open and the 2017 Alfred Dunhill Championship, and is widely regarded as one of South Africa’s brightest young talents.

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