Ernie Els. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Ernie Els. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Ernie Els will return to the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in November‚ organisers announced on Thursday.

The tournament‚ the seventh Rolex Series event on the 2019 Race to Dubai‚ takes place from November 14-17 and offers the biggest winner’s cheque in its history.

The $7.5m prize pot remains the same‚ but the top bounty has been doubled to $2.5m‚ exceeding the previous highest purse of $2m‚ which was on offer on only three occasions‚ from 2000 to 2002.

Els‚ a three-time winner‚ cashed in twice on the $2m purse‚ in 2000 and 2002.

“It’s always a pleasure to play in SA and particularly at the Nedbank Golf Challenge‚” said Els‚ who will captain the international team in the Presidents Cup against Tiger Woods in Melbourne in December.

“I’ve got some great memories of the tournament — particularly from my three wins — and I’m pleased that I’ve been able to support the event as it has continued to grow over the years. I’m looking forward to a busy end of the year with the Presidents Cup coming up in December.

“I’m pleased that I can include some competitive golf on home soil in that schedule‚ and I’m sure it will be a memorable week‚ especially with the 40th anniversary celebrations‚” added Els‚ a winner of four major titles.

The Gary Player Country Club and the resort are 40 years old in 2019.

Els joins a field that includes fellow South African major winner Louis Oosthuizen and another countryman in Branden Grace‚ who claimed his first Rolex Series title at the Challenge two years ago.

The field includes European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington and English Ryder Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood‚ who returns to defend his Challenge title.