Golf star Jon Rahm may be a big hit at Nedbank Golf Challenge
Big-hitting Jon Rahm could be one of the star attractions at November’s Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.
Rahm‚ ranked third behind Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia‚ is hoping to mount a strong finish in the Race to Dubai and he may need an impressive showing at the Gary Player Country Club if he hopes to reel in the pace-setting Englishman.
He trails Fleetwood by over a million points but is hoping to claw back some of that deficit in this week’s Italian Open.
Rahm revealed after triumphing in the Irish Open that winning the Race to Dubai was a major priority for him in his first full season on the European Tour. The 22-year-old Spaniard says he is inspired by the prospect of emulating his compatriot Seve Ballesteros, who won at Sun City in 1983 and 1984.
Rahm will be a big drawcard if organisers can persuade him to fly south. The rarefied air and the sheer length (7,000m) of the Gary Player Country Club will only enhance his impressive ball-striking. The course is in immaculate condition, but organisers are hoping for more rain in the weeks leading up to the event on November 9 to 12.
SA’s Louis Oosthuizen and Brandon Stone have confirmed their participation‚ as has Alex Noren, the defending champion.
Fellow Swede and former champion Henrik Stenson will also be in attendance. The 11-time European Tour winner‚ who topped the Race to Dubai rankings in 2016‚ is looking forward to the event.
"The Nedbank Golf Challenge is a tournament that I always enjoy being part of," Stenson said. "The Gary Player Country Club is a fantastic place to play golf and I’m looking forward to getting back to Sun City.
"I’ve won there before. We always get a brilliant reception from the South African fans and I’m sure it will be another enjoyable event," he said.
The organisers are hoping to get a clearer picture of the stars likely to tee up at the Gary Player Country Club.
The 2017 event will be the seventh in the Rolex series and penultimate tournament in the Race to Dubai.
Its selection criteria makes provision for the top 64 players in the Race to Dubai as at the end of the Turkish Airlines Open‚ the defending champion‚ as well as the 2016 Sunshine Tour order of merit winner.
Six more invitations will be issued at the discretion of the organisers.