Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Nedbank Golf Challenge
Nedbank Golf Challenge logo.png
Tournament information
LocationSun City, South Africa
Established1981
Course(s)Gary Player CC
Par72
Length7,831 yards (7,161 m)
Tour(s)European Tour
FormatStroke play
Prize fundUS$7,500,000
Month playedNovember
Tournament record score
Aggregate263 Ernie Els (1999)
To par−25 Ernie Els (1999)
Current champion
England Lee Westwood
Gary Player C.C. is located in South Africa
Gary Player C.C.
Gary Player
C.C.
Location in South Africa

The Nedbank Golf Challenge, previously known as the Million Dollar Challenge, is an annual men's professional golf tournament played at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, North West province, South Africa. It was first played in 1981 and takes place towards the end of the year, in November or December.

For many years the tournament was a small-field invitational stroke play event with typically 12 players competing. Since it became a European Tour event in 2013, the field size has increased, to 30 from 2013 to 2015 and to 72 in 2016. Originally it was not an official event for any of the major tours.

From 2010 to 2012, a separate tournament for senior golfers was held concurrently.

History[edit]

The first tournament was played from 31 December 1981 to 4 January 1982 with a field of 5: Seve Ballesteros, Johnny Miller, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Trevino. Ballesteros and Miller tied on 277 with Nicklaus a stroke behind after he missed a putt at the final hole. Miller beat Ballesteros at the ninth hole of a sudden-death playoff. The pair played the 16th to 18th holes three times before Ballesteros three-putted. Miller won $500,000 out of total prize money of $1,000,000.[1]

The date was moved to early December 1982 for the second tournament, with 10 players competing. Total prize money remained at $1,000,000 with $300,000 for the winner and $50,000 for the 10th player. There was another playoff, with Raymond Floyd beating Craig Stadler at the fourth extra hole.[2] The format remained unchanged from 1983 to 1986 with the event played in early December each year.

The 1987 event introduced a winner-take-all $1,000,000 first prize, although there were additional prizes for the lowest round each day. The field was reduced to 8 player. Ian Woosnam won by 4 strokes and took the first million dollar prize in golf.[3] The winner-take-all idea was dropped for 1988, although the first prize remained as $1,000,000. The format remained largely unchanged through 1999, with the first prize always $1,000,000, although the field increased from 8 to 10 in 1989 and to 12 from 1993. There were two playoffs during this period. In 1996 Colin Montgomerie beat Ernie Els with a birdie at the third extra hole, while in 1998 Nick Price beat Tiger Woods with a birdie at the fifth extra hole.

In 2006, the tournament carried World Rankings points for the first time since 1999.[4] In 2013 it was expanded to 30 players: the defending tournament champion; the top 10 PGA Tour FedEx Cup players, the top 10 European Tour Race to Dubai players; the Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour, Japan Golf Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit winners; the Alfred Dunhill Championship winner; and the top 5 South African players in the World Rankings.

From 2000 to 2002 the first prize was increased to US$2 million, but the following year the winner's share of the total prize fund was reduced from more than half to around 30%. The standard winner's share on the PGA Tour is 18% and on the European Tour it is 16.67%. In 2006 the winner received $1.2 million out of a total purse of US$4.385 million, so the prize distribution is now not far from the normal pattern for a professional tournament, once allowance is made for the small size of the field. That US$2 million first prize remained the largest in professional golf, but was matched in 2011 by the Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters.

The 2016 event was part of the European Tour Final Series, replacing the BMW Masters, while in 2017 the event was part of the new Rolex Series. Since 2016, the field of 72 consists of the top 64 available players from the current year Race to Dubai standings, the defending champion, the winner of the Sunshine Tour order of merit from previous year, and tournament invitations.

Winners[edit]

European Tour event (2016– )
Year Winner Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner-up Winner's
share (US$)
2018 Lee Westwood (3)  England 273 −15 3 strokes Spain Sergio García 1,250,000
2017 Branden Grace  South Africa 277 −11 1 stroke Scotland Scott Jamieson 1,166,660
2016 Alexander Norén  Sweden 274 −14 6 strokes South Korea Wang Jeung-hun 1,166,660
Sunshine and European Tour event (2013–2015)
Year Winner Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share (US$)
2015 Marc Leishman  Australia 269 −19 6 strokes Sweden Henrik Stenson 1,250,000
2014 Danny Willett  England 270 −18 4 strokes England Ross Fisher 1,250,000
2013 Thomas Bjørn  Denmark 268 −20 2 strokes Wales Jamie Donaldson
Spain Sergio García
1,250,000
Sunshine Tour event (2006–2012)
Year Winner Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner-up Winner's
share (US$)
2012 Martin Kaymer  Germany 280 −8 2 strokes South Africa Charl Schwartzel 1,250,000
2011 Lee Westwood (2)  England 273 −15 2 strokes Sweden Robert Karlsson 1,250,000
2010 Lee Westwood  England 271 −17 8 strokes South Africa Tim Clark 1,250,000
2009 Robert Allenby  Australia 277 −11 Playoff Sweden Henrik Stenson 1,200,000
2008 Henrik Stenson  Sweden 267 −21 9 strokes United States Kenny Perry 1,200,000
2007 Trevor Immelman  South Africa 272 −16 1 stroke England Justin Rose 1,200,000
2006 Jim Furyk (2)  United States 276 −12 2 strokes Sweden Henrik Stenson 1,200,000
Unofficial money event (1981–2005)
Year Winner Country Score To par Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up Winner's
share (US$)
Nedbank Golf Challenge
2005 Jim Furyk  United States 282 −6 Playoff Northern Ireland Darren Clarke
South Africa Retief Goosen
Australia Adam Scott
1,200,000
2004 Retief Goosen  South Africa 281 −7 6 strokes Australia Stuart Appleby
South Africa Ernie Els
1,200,000
2003 Sergio García (2)  Spain 274 −14 Playoff South Africa Retief Goosen 1,200,000
2002 Ernie Els (3)  South Africa 267 −21 8 strokes Scotland Colin Montgomerie 2,000,000
2001 Sergio García  Spain 268 −20 Playoff South Africa Ernie Els 2,000,000
2000 Ernie Els (2)  South Africa 268 −20 Playoff England Lee Westwood 2,000,000
Million Dollar Challenge
1999 Ernie Els  South Africa 263 −25 5 strokes Scotland Colin Montgomerie 1,000,000
1998 Nick Price (3)  Zimbabwe 273 −15 Playoff United States Tiger Woods 1,000,000
1997 Nick Price (2)  Zimbabwe 275 −13 3 strokes South Africa Ernie Els
United States Davis Love III
1,000,000
1996 Colin Montgomerie  Scotland 274 −14 Playoff South Africa Ernie Els 1,000,000
1995 Corey Pavin  United States 276 −12 5 strokes Zimbabwe Nick Price 1,000,000
1994 Nick Faldo  England 272 −16 3 strokes Zimbabwe Nick Price 1,000,000
1993 Nick Price  Zimbabwe 264 −24 12 strokes Zimbabwe Mark McNulty 1,000,000
1992 David Frost (3)  South Africa 276 −12 4 strokes United States John Cook 1,000,000
1991 Bernhard Langer (2)  Germany 272 −16 5 strokes United States Mark Calcavecchia 1,000,000
1990 David Frost (2)  South Africa 284 −4 1 stroke Spain José María Olazábal 1,000,000
1989 David Frost  South Africa 276 −12 3 strokes United States Scott Hoch 1,000,000
1988 Fulton Allem  South Africa 278 −10 1 stroke United States Don Pooley 1,000,000
1987 Ian Woosnam  Wales 274 −14 4 strokes England Nick Faldo 1,000,000
1986 Mark McNulty  Zimbabwe 282 −6 3 strokes United States Lanny Wadkins 300,000
1985 Bernhard Langer  West Germany 278 −10 2 strokes United States Lanny Wadkins 300,000
1984 Seve Ballesteros (2)  Spain 279 −9 6 strokes England Nick Faldo 300,000
1983 Seve Ballesteros  Spain 274 −14 5 strokes England Nick Faldo
Australia David Graham
United States Fuzzy Zoeller
300,000
1982 Raymond Floyd  United States 280 −8 Playoff United States Craig Stadler 300,000
1981 Johnny Miller  United States 277 −11 Playoff Spain Seve Ballesteros 500,000

The 1981 event was played from 31 December 1981 to 3 January 1982.

As of 2009, the leading money winner in the event is Ernie Els with winnings of $7,971,000.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Floyd wins Sun City play-off". The Glasgow Herald. 4 January 1982. p. 14.
  2. ^ "Miller's rich reward". The Glasgow Herald. 6 December 1982. p. 16.
  3. ^ "Wizard Woosie scoops million dollar jackpot". The Glasgow Herald. 7 December 1987. p. 9.
  4. ^ World Rankings are refined, but still confusing
  5. ^ All-time Money Earners

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 25°20′20″S 27°06′22″E / 25.339°S 27.106°E / -25.339; 27.106