Gary Player. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/AFP/ANDREW REDINGTON
Gary Player. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/AFP/ANDREW REDINGTON

After making his debut in last week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge, SA’s Zander Lombard will realise another dream, having received an invitation to play in the Gary Player Invitational at the Lost City Golf Course at Sun City from November 23-24.

Lombard will join a strong field of Southern African men and women’s professional golfers, sports stars, celebrities and business leaders in the 20th anniversary of the event.

Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok Steven Kitshoff will also play in his first Invitational as part of a glittering list of SA sports stars that will support Player in raising funds for charity.

Lombard makes his debut in this tournament fresh from his performance in “Africa’s Major” last weekend, in which he led for two rounds before finishing tied eighth behind eventual champion Tommy Fleetwood.

“I was so impressed with Zander’s performance last week and I’ve always believed in giving our local Sunshine Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour professionals the opportunity to keep developing their games so that they can succeed at the highest level,” Player said.

Breakout season

Sunshine Ladies Tour star Nobuhle Dlamini will also be in the field as part of the celebration of #GolfandGiving and this tournament’s drive to raise funds for The Player Foundation and support underprivileged communities through its selected beneficiaries, Wings and Wishes and the Blair Atholl School.

Dlamini had a breakout season on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, which she ended as the winner of the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit.

The Invitational is supporting the growth of the game in SA with the presence of Gary Player Class professionals Keenan Davidse and Toto Thimba. The class is the Sunshine Tour’s talent identification squad that builds on the work done by the SA Golf Development Board and supports these professionals with every opportunity to succeed.

“This tournament is about giving back in every sense, so as part of our 20th anniversary celebrations we have expanded the field to 72 golfers to support more of the Sunshine Tour, Sunshine Ladies Tour and Gary Player Class golfers, and give them the opportunity to mix with other sportsmen as well as business leaders who are successful in their spheres,” said tournament founder Marc Player.

Field: Gary Player, Zander Lombard, Jaco Ahlers, Oliver Bekker, Keenan Davidse, Louis de Jager, Nobuhle Dlamini, Bryce Easton, Philip Eriksson, Alex Haindl, Lejan Lewthwaite, Derick Petersen, Juan Carlo Ritchie, Jake Roos, Neil Schietekat, Jean-Paul Strydom, Toto Thimba, Kim Williams

Sports stars and celebrities: Steven Kitshoff, Bryan Habana, Akona Ndungane, Odwa Ndungane, Butch James, Patrick Lambie, Owen Nkumane, Shaun Pollock, Brian Mitchell, Mark Williams, Jimmy Tau, Stanton Fredericks, Aaron Mokoena, Matthew Booth, Brian McFadden, Keith Duffy, Maps Maponyane, Dan Nicoll