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PGA European - Nedbank Golf Challenge Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, December 3rd through Sunday, December 6th
SITE: Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa
COURSE ARCHITECT: Gary Player
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,831
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 441 Yds10 - Par 5 547 Yds
2 - Par 5 569 Yds11 - Par 4 458 Yds
3 - Par 4 449 Yds12 - Par 3 219 Yds
4 - Par 3 213 Yds13 - Par 4 444 Yds
5 - Par 4 491 Yds14 - Par 5 601 Yds
6 - Par 4 424 Yds15 - Par 4 471 Yds
7 - Par 3 225 Yds16 - Par 3 211 Yds
8 - Par 4 492 Yds17 - Par 4 478 Yds
9 - Par 5 596 Yds18 - Par 4 502 Yds
--------------------------
36 3,900 Yds36 3,931 Yds
 
Annual:  29th
Television:  None
Defending Champion:  Henrik Stenson
Runner-Up:  Kenny Perry
Tournament Record:  263 (Ernie Els, 1999)
54-Hole Record:  197 (Ernie Els, 1999)
36-Hole Record:  130 (Nick Faldo, 1994)
Course Record:  63 (Ernie Els, 2002; Henrik Stenson, 2008)
Total Purse:  $4,385,000
Shares:  1st Place - $1,200,000; 2nd Place - $600,000; 3rd Place - $400,000
 
2008 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Henrik Stenson267K.J. Choi286
Kenny Perry276James Kingston286
Robert Karlsson279Justin Rose290
Rory Sabbatini280Trevor Immelman291
Lee Westwood284Luke Donald292
Sergio Garcia284Miguel Angel Jimenez293
 
Past Nedbank Golf Challenge Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008Henrik Stenson (267) -- Kenny Perry
2007Trevor Immelman (272) -- Justin Rose
2006Jim Furyk (276) -- Henrik Stenson
2005*Jim Furyk (282) -- Darren Clarke, Retief Goosen, Adam Scott
2004Retief Goosen (281) -- Ernie Els, Stuart Appleby
2003*Sergio Garcia (274) -- Retief Goosen
2002Ernie Els (267) -- Colin Montgomerie
2001*Sergio Garcia (268) -- Ernie Els
2000*Ernie Els (268) -- Lee Westwood
1999Ernie Els (263) -- Colin Montgomerie
1998*Nick Price (273) -- Tiger Woods
1997Nick Price (275) -- Ernie Els, Davis Love III
1996*Colin Montgomerie (274) -- Ernie Els
1995Corey Pavin (276) -- Nick Price
1994Nick Faldo (272) -- Nick Price
1993Nick Price (264) -- Mark McNulty
1992David Frost (276) -- John Cook
1991Bernhard Langer (272) -- Mark Calcavecchia
1990David Frost (284) -- Jose Maria Olazabal
1989David Frost (276) -- Scott Hoch
1988Fulton Allem (278) -- Don Pooley, Ken Green
1987Ian Woosnam (274) -- Nick Faldo
1986Mark McNulty (278) -- Lanny Wadkins
1985Bernhard Langer (278) -- Lanny Wadkins
1984Seve Ballesteros (279) -- Nick Faldo
1983Seve Ballesteros (274) -- Fuzzy Zoeller, Nick Faldo
1982*Raymond Floyd (280) -- Craig Stadler
1981*Johnny Miller (277) -- Seve Ballesteros

* - Won in playoff.

Top Contenders in the Field
Player20012002200320042005200620072008
Henrik Stenson---------------2nd4thWon
Robert Karlsson---------------------3rd
Luke Donald------------5th---T-611th
Retief Goosen8thT-42ndWonT-26th12th---
Tim Clark------T-10---6th---------
Angel Cabrera------------8th---------
Robert Allenby---T-8T-14---------------
Ross Fisher------------------------
Hunter Mahan------------------------
Rory McIlroy------------------------
Richard Sterne------------------------
Nick Watney------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Rory McIlroy
Darkhorse - Tim Clark
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Ireland) - Finished tied for 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Thailand) - Finished tied for 16th
 
NOTES:
One of the finest off-season events takes place this week, as the 29th annual Nedbank Golf Challenge gets underway in South Africa. Nine of the top-30 players in the world are scheduled to compete this week, led by world No. 7 and defending champion Henrik Stenson. Stenson is joined in the field by 20-year-old Irish sensation Rory McIlroy, who is ranked 10th in the world.

Last year, Stenson led wire-to-wire as he opened with a 63 and finished with rounds of 71-65-68 to win this event by nine strokes over Kenny Perry. Stenson finished the event at 21-under-par 267. His opening round 63 tied the course record set by Ernie Els in 2002.

In 2006, Jim Furyk cruised to victory, defeating Stenson by two shots to capture this event for the second straight year. In 2005, Furyk became the first American to win this event since Corey Pavin back in 1995. After missing a par putt on the final hole of regulation which would have won him the title, Furyk redeemed himself by chipping in from behind the flag on the second extra hole for the win.

Although not competing, Els is a three-time champion of this event and has dominated the tournament in his 16 appearances, posting three wins and four runner-up finishes, not to mention he is the event's all-time money leader with $7,971,000 in earnings. There have been eight playoffs in event history. Retief Goosen has fared well at this event with one win (2004), two runner-up finishes (2003, '05), a tie for fourth (2002), sixth (2006) and 12th (2007) in his last six appearances.

Els is the all-time leader in subpar rounds with 46, four clear of Nick Price (42). Bernhard Langer is third with 38. Several players have posted back-to- back titles in this event. Seve Ballesteros was the first to accomplish the feat winning in consecutive years back in 1983-84. David Frost captured two in a row (1989-90), Price in 1997-98, Els (1999-2000) and Furyk (2005-06). Ballesteros (1984), Nick Faldo (1994) and Stenson (2008) are the only players to win this event wire-to-wire. When Sergio Garcia captured this event in 2001, he became the youngest winner at the age of 21 years and 10 months.

12/01 14:04:58 ET

As of December 1, 2009, at 02:05 PM ET

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