PGA European - Alfred Dunhill Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, December 13th through Sunday, December 16th
SITE: Leopard Creek Country Club, Malelane, South Africa
COURSE ARCHITECT: Gary Player (1996)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,287
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 419 yds10 - Par 4 432 yds
2 - Par 5 580 yds11 - Par 4 375 yds
3 - Par 4 448 yds12 - Par 3 192 yds
4 - Par 4 427 yds13 - Par 5 552 yds
5 - Par 3 164 yds14 - Par 4 413 yds
6 - Par 4 319 yds15 - Par 5 598 yds
7 - Par 3 215 yds16 - Par 3 208 yds
8 - Par 4 480 yds17 - Par 4 484 yds
9 - Par 4 476 yds18 - Par 5 541 yds
35 3,528 Yds37 3,759 Yds
Annual:  48th
Television:  Golf Channel - Wednesday/Thursday -- 9 p.m.-2 a.m. (et),
  - Friday/Saturday -- 8 p.m.-1 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Garth Mulroy
Runner-Up:  George Murray
Tournament Record:  267 (Adam Scott, 2001)
54-Hole Record:  198 (David Frost, 1997; Adam Scott, 2001; Thomas Aiken, 2009)
36-Hole Record:  131 (Retief Goosen, 1997; Pablo Martin, 2010)
Course Record:  61 (Thomas Aiken, 2009)
Total Purse:  $1,939,111 (1,500,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $306,174; 2nd Place - $222,145; 3rd Place - $133,673
2011 Finish
Garth Mulroy269George Coetzee275
George Murray271Hennie Otto276
Jaco Van Zyl275Andrea Pavan276
Felipe Aguilar275Three players at277
Peter Whiteford275
Past Alfred Dunhill Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Garth Mulroy (269) -- George Murray
2010Pablo Martin (277) -- Charl Schwartzel, Anthony Michael,
Thorbjorn Olesen
2009Pablo Martin (271) -- Charl Schwartzel
2008Richard Sterne (271) -- Johan Edfors, Robert Rock
2007John Bickerton (275) -- Ernie Els, Lee Slattery
2006Alvaro Quiros (275) -- Charl Schwartzel
2005Ernie Els (274) -- Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel
2004Charl Schwartzel (281) -- Neil Cheetham
2004*Marcel Siem (266) -- Raphael Jacquelin, Gregory Havret
2003*Mark Foster (273) -- Anders Hansen, Bradford Vaughan, Trevor Immelman,
Paul Lawrie, Doug McGuigan
2002Justin Rose (268) -- Retief Goosen, Mark Foster, Martin Maritz
2001Adam Scott (267) -- Justin Rose
2000#Anthony Wall (204) -- Phillip Price, Gary Orr
1999Ernie Els (273) -- Richard Kaplan
1998Tony Johnstone (271) -- Ernie Els
1997*Nick Price (269) -- David Frost
1996#Sven Struver (202) -- Ernie Els, David Feherty
1995Ernie Els (271) -- Roger Wessels
1994David Frost
1993Mark McNulty
1992Ernie Els
1991Roger Wessels
1990Fulton Allem
1989Tony Johnstone
1988David Feherty
1987Fulton Allem
1986Bobby Cole
1985Chris Williams
1984Gavin Levenson
1983Corey Pavin
1982Gary Player
1981Not Held
1980Hugh Baiocchi
1979Gary Player
1978Hale Irwin
1977John Bland
1976Dale Hayes
1975Dale Hayes
1974Dale Hayes
1973Tom Weiskopf
1972Harold Henning
1971Tienie Britz
1971Tienie Britz
1970Denis Hutchinson
1969Gary Player
1968Not Held
1967Harold Henning
1966Harold Henning
1965Harold Henning

# - Rain Shortened

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called Lexington South African PGA Championship (1995), Alfred
Dunhill South African PGA (1996-99), Alfred Dunhill Championship (2000-01), dunhill championship (2002-06).

Top Contenders in the Field
Garth Mulroy---------T-21T-12mcWon
George Murray---------------mc2nd
George Coetzee------T-18T-45mc---T-3
Darren FichardtT-73T-4mcT-42T-25T-37T-13
Robert Rock---T-17T-14T-2T-4T-8T-38
Thomas AikenT-12mcT-57T-4mc5thmc
James KingstonT-27mcT-52T-37T-17T-10mc
Scott Jamieson---------------T-30mc
Branden Grace------mcT-63mc---mc
Charl SchwartzelT-22ndmcT-142ndT-2---
David Howell---------------T-13---
Richard SternemcT-27T-18WonT-4T-30---
Louis OosthuizenT-2mcmcmcmcmc---
Eduardo De La Riva---------------------
Steve Webster---------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Charl Schwartzel
Darkhorse - Bjorn Akesson
Last Week's Pick to Win (George Coetzee) - Finished tied for 39th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Magnus A. Carlsson) - Finished tied for 103rd
NOTES:The European Tour remains in South Africa for the second straight week
to kick off the 2013 season with the Alfred Dunhill Championship. This tournament was not played on the 2012 schedule. It was last staged in November 2011 as part of the 2011 season. Scott Jamieson won the season-opening Nelson Mandela Championship last week. The event was shortened to 36 holes due to bad weather.

The field is led by three South Africans ranked in the top-40 in the world rankings - Louis Oosthuizen (5), Charl Schwartzel (23) and Branden Grace (36). Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, finished in the top-6 in his last four official events of 2012. He lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson at the 2012 Masters. Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champion, finished in the top-5 in his last two official events of 2012 and finished second to Martin Kaymer at the Nedbank Golf Challenge two weeks ago. Schwartzel has been outstanding at this tournament. He has one win (2005) and four second-place finishes (2005-06, 09-10) in nine appearances. Grace is coming off a breakout season which saw him win four times, the most on the European Tour in 2012.

This tournament has been part of the European Tour since 1995 and is co-sanctioned by the South African Sunshine Tour. In 1995, this tournament became the first European Tour event to be co-sanctioned with another tour.

After 10 straight years at Houghton Golf Club, the tournament moved to the Gary Player-designed Leopard Creek Country Club in 2005. Leopard Creek Country Club is situated near the Malelane gate on the southern border of South Africa's largest game park, the Kruger National Park.

In 2011, Garth Mulroy held on with two late birdies in the final round to capture this event. Mulroy led by three with five holes to play before the entire lead evaporated with a bogey on 14 and George Murray's eagle on 15. Mulroy, however, recovered to birdie his next two holes, and Murray was unable to match the result at Leopard Creek Country Club. Mulroy finished 72 holes at 19-under 269, good for his first European Tour win.

Spain's Pablo Martin posted rounds of 69-70-68-70 in 2010 to repeat as champion. Martin trailed by one to start the final round, but built a 5-shot lead early on the back nine. He nearly coughed up his entire cushion, but a birdie at the last sealed the win. Martin finished at 11-under-par 277 for a 2-stroke win over Schwartzel, Anthony Michael and Thorbjorn Olesen. Martin became the first player on the European Tour to repeat as champion since Padraig Harrington won the British Open in 2007 and 2008.

In 2009, Martin fired rounds of 68-63-71-69 to win by one stroke over Schwartzel. Martin finished at 17-under-par 271 and tied the 36-hole record of 131 set by Retief Goosen in 1997.

In 2009, Richard Sterne shot a 3-under 69 in the final round and emerged to win in his native South Africa. Sterne finished at 17-under-par 271 for his fourth career European Tour title, edging Johan Edfors and Robert Rock by one shot. Sterne was the only player in the field to shoot four rounds in the 60s (68-66-68-69).

Ernie Els made a triple-bogey at the 18th hole in the final round of 2008 to cough up a 2-shot lead and give John Bickerton a surprise win. Els had protected his overnight lead throughout the final round at Leopard Creek before inexplicably hitting into the water twice at the 18th hole for a disastrous eight. The gaffes sent the South African star to a 1-over 73, nine shots worse than his 64 in the third round. They gave the Englishman Bickerton his third European Tour win.

In 2007, Spain's Alvaro Quiros had four birdies on his final six holes, including one at the 18th, to win by one shot. Quiros, then a 23-year-old rookie playing for the first time with a European Tour card, closed with a skillful 5-under 67 to overtake third-round leader Schwartzel. He finished at 13-under-par 275 and became the first non-South African to win this event since Germany's Marcel Siem in 2004. With the victory, Quiros became the first player in European Tour history to win a tournament in his first event as a full member.

Els is a four-time winner (1992, 1995, 1999, 2006) and also finished three times as a runner-up (1996, 1998, 2008). Els has finished in the top-10 in all nine of his appearances.

In 2005, Schwartzel recorded his first career title, as he defeated Neil Cheetham on the first playoff hole. Schwartzel's success represented the sixth consecutive year that the tournament had presented a first-time winner. Schwartzel followed in the footsteps of Anthony Wall, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Mark Foster and Siem.

The European Tour returns January 10-13 at the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban, South Africa, where Grace will defend his title at Durban Country Club.

12/11 14:40:42 ET

As of December 11, 2012, at 02:40 PM ET
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