Cape Town - The Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player on Friday
announced a number of changes for 2019, including a first prize of $2.5
million, as part of a series of exciting changes to the final three Rolex
Series events of the European Tour season.
tournament, which takes place at Sun City from November 14-17, will once again
be the penultimate event on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, joining the
Turkish Airlines Open (November 7-10) and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai
(November 14-17) at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
changes to all three Rolex Series events were announced to increase the
excitement around this season finale, with the winner of the 2019 Nedbank Golf
Challenge now set to receive a winner’s cheque for $2.5 million - double the $1.25 million banked by England’s Lee Westwood in 2018.
tournament’s overall prize fund will remain at $7.5 million, with the
remainder of the field playing for the remaining $5 million. The Race to Dubai
points on offer have increased to 10 000, up from 7 500 in 2018.
in this year’s tournament will comprise the leading 60 players available from
the Race to Dubai, all of whom will be aiming to seal a place in the top 50 on
the Race to Dubai which ensures qualification for the season-ending DP World
Tour Championship, Dubai the following week.
four places will be then be added to the final Nedbank field, made up of three
invitations and the winner of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.
played in 1981, the Nedbank Golf Challenge became part of the European Tour
International Schedule at the beginning of the 2014 season and joined the
prestigious Rolex Series, the eight premium tournaments on the Race to Dubai,
in 2017. The changes announced today, combined with Nedbank’s recent
three-year extension as title sponsor, mark another new chapter for the
enhance its reputation as one of Africa’s leading sporting events
more than 72 000 fans watched Westwood seal his 24th European Tour win
and first Rolex Series title, as he joined Thomas Bjørn (2014), Danny Willett
(2015), Alex Noren (2016) and Branden Grace (2017) in an impressive list of
recent champions, and the changes are aimed at attracting another world class
field in November.
Brown, Chief Executive, Nedbank Group, said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with
the European Tour and Sun International for another three years until 2021. The
Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player, ‘Africa’s Major’, is an iconic
event and one of the best corporate hospitality and live experiences on the
African continent. It is a great platform for South Africa to showcase our
beautiful country to the rest of the world and for Nedbank to demonstrate our
brand essence of using our financial expertise to do good for individuals,
families, businesses and society.”
Leeming, Chief Executive, Sun International, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the changes
made by the European Tour and the continuation of our longstanding partnership
with Nedbank and the European Tour. These relationships are key to the
continued growth of ‘Africa’s Major’ and its status as one of the premier
tournaments on the Tour. We look forward to once again hosting the sponsors,
fans and players at our amazing resort Sun City in its 40th year
Player, nine-time Major winner and tournament host at the Gary Player Country
Club in Sun City, said: “The evolution of the Nedbank Golf Challenge since we first started the
Million Dollar Challenge decades ago has been simply spectacular to witness. I
am delighted to host an event that will continue to put South Africa on the
map, not only as a superb golfing country, but for our overall tourism too.
This obviously would not be possible without the support of the European Tour,
Nedbank, Sun International, Rolex and all our sponsors. On behalf of all our
fans we express our sincere gratitude.”
to the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player are part of wider changes
to the final three Rolex Series events on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
This includes the largest first prize in the history of golf going to the
winner of the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, with the
champion at Jumeirah Golf Estates now pocketing $3 million, up significantly
from the 1.33 million won by Danny Willett last November.
the first prize for Turkish Airlines Open has also increased to $2 million
(up from the $1.16 million won by Justin Rose in 2018); while the Race to
Dubai points at both events are also significantly up - 9 000 at the Turkish
Airlines Open (up from 7 000); and 12 000 at the DP World Tour Championship (up
from 8 000).
addition, the field sizes for both events, along with the Nedbank Golf
Challenge, have been revised and reduced to show a clear progression from event
to event; with the leading 70 players from the Race to Dubai playing in Turkey,
the leading 60 competing in South Africa, and the leading 50 lining up in
change is in relation to the Bonus Pool which is distributed at the end of the
season. It will now be divided amongst the top five players in the Race to
Dubai instead of the top 10 with the 2019 winner claiming $2 million, up
from the $1.25 million claimed by Francesco Molinari last year.
Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “The changes we have announced in terms of
enhanced winner’s cheques, Race to Dubai points and Bonus Pool dividend are
designed to increase the excitement around the end of the season for our fans,
as well as encourage greater top player participation in our final three
undertaken significant analysis recently and have found that, had these
additional Race to Dubai points been available over the past five years; on
average between five and 16 players would have come to our final event with a
chance of winning the Race to Dubai, in addition to an average of 43 players
having the chance to earn Bonus Pool money at the end of the season; both
numbers considerably higher than was actually the case in those years.
revised prize money breakdown and the extra Race to Dubai points in place for
2019, this provides a tremendous incentive for our players.”
SUMMARY OF CHANGES:
Leading 70 available from the Race to Dubai
Leading 60 available from the Race to Dubai
Leading 50* available from the Race to Dubai
the purposes of defining the top 50, Affiliate Members who are in the top 50 of
the OWGR will be “in addition to” to avoid such members denying Ranked Members
the chance to qualify for the DPWTC
RACE TO DUBAI POINTS
7 000 points become 9 000 points
7 500 points become 10 000 points
8 000 points become 12 000 points
among the top five, not the top 10:
Dubai Position / $ Bonus Pool
1 / $2 million
2 / $1.2 million
3 / $700 000
4 / $600 000
5 / $500 000
TOTAL: $5 000 000
breakdown changed to offer significantly larger first place prize
1st place - $2 million
1st place - $2.5 million
1st place - $3 million