Sun Sentinel
European Golf Tour
PGA European - South African Open Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, December 16th through Sunday, December 19th
SITE: Durban Country Club, Durban, South Africa
COURSE ARCHITECT: George Waterman and Lawrie B. Waters (1922)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 6,732
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 387 yds10 - Par 5 560 yds
2 - Par 3 188 yds11 - Par 4 480 yds
3 - Par 5 512 yds12 - Par 3 156 yds
4 - Par 3 180 yds13 - Par 4 339 yds
5 - Par 4 459 yds14 - Par 5 527 yds
6 - Par 4 352 yds15 - Par 3 194 yds
7 - Par 4 372 yds16 - Par 4 417 yds
8 - Par 5 501 yds17 - Par 4 401 yds
9 - Par 4 434 yds18 - Par 4 273 yds
--------------------------
36 3,385 Yds36 3,347 Yds
 
Annual:  100th
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Richie Ramsay
Runner-Up:  Shiv Kapur
Tournament Record:  264 (Ernie Els, 2007)
54-Hole Record:  196 (Trevor Immelman, 2007)
36-Hole Record:  132 (Patrik Sjoland, 2007; Michael Lorenzo-Vera, 2009)
18-Hole Record:  62 (John Bland, 1993 - Durban Country Club)
Total Purse:  $1,319,993 (1,000,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $209,218; 2nd Place - $151,812; 3rd Place - $91,351
 
2010 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Richie Ramsay *275Darren Fichardt278
Shiv Kapur275Pablo Martin278
Anders Hansen276Five players at279
Fredrik Anderson Hed277
Edoardo Molinari277

* - Won in Playoff

 
Past South African Open Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2010*Richie Ramsay (275) -- Shiv Kapur
2009*Richard Sterne (274) -- Gareth Maybin
2008James Kingston (284) -- Oliver Wilson
2007Ernie Els (264) -- Trevor Immelman
2006Retief Goosen (282) -- Ernie Els
2005Tim Clark (273) -- Gregory Havret, Charl Schwartzel
2004Trevor Immelman (276) -- Steve Webster, Alastair Forsyth
2003*Trevor Immelman (274) -- Tim Clark
2002Tim Clark (269) -- Steve Webster
2001Mark McNulty (280) -- Justin Rose
2000Mathias Gronberg (274) -- Darren Fichardt, Nick Price, Ricardo Gonzalez
1999David Frost (279) -- Jeev Milkha Singh, Scott Dunlap
1998Ernie Els (270) -- David Frost
1997Vijay Singh (270) -- Nick Price
1996Ernie Els (275) -- Brenden Pappas
1995Retief Goosen (275) -- Ernie Els
1994Not held in 1994 because of two in 1993
1993Tony Johnstone (267) -- Ernie Els
1993Clinton Whitelaw (279) -- Retief Goosen
1992Ernie Els (275) -- Derek James
1991Wayne Westner (272) -- Tony Johnstone, Mark James
1990Trevor Dodds (285) -- Hugh Royer
1989Fred Wadsworth (278) -- Tom Lehman
1988Wayne Westner (275) -- Ian Mosey
1987*Mark McNulty (278) -- Fulton Allem
1986David Frost (275) -- Tony Johnstone
1985Gavin Levenson (280) -- Phil Simmons
1984Tony Johnstone (274) -- Fulton Allem
1983Charlie Bolling (278) -- Tertius Claassens
1982Not held
1981*Gary Player (272) -- John Bland, Warren Humphreys
1980Bobby Cole (279) -- Mark McNulty
1979Gary Player (279) -- Ian Mosey
1978Hugh Baiocchi (285) -- Gary Levenson
1977Gary Player (273) -- Dale Hayes, Bobby Cole
1976Gary Player (280) -- Dave Suddards, Bobby Verwey
1976*Dale Hayes (287) -- John Fourie
1975Gary Player (278) -- Allan Henning
1974Bobby Cole (272) -- Allan Henning
1973Bob Charles (282) -- Vin Baker, Graham Marsh, Bobby Cole
1972Gary Player (274) -- Bobby Cole
1971Simon Hobday (276) -- Gary Player
1970Tommy Horton (285) -- Terry Westbrook
1969Gary Player (273) -- Trevor Wilkes
1968Gary Player (274) -- Cobie Legrange
1967Gary Player (279) -- Allan Henning
1966Gary Player (278) -- Harold Henning, Cobie Legrange
1965Gary Player (273) -- John Hayes
1964Not held in 1964 because of two in 1963
1963Allan Henning (278) -- Bruce Keyter
1963Retief Waltman (281) -- Papwa Sewgolum
1962Harold Henning (285) -- Denis Hutchinson
1961Retief Waltman (289) -- Barry Franklin
1960Gary Player (280) -- Harold Henning, Tommy Trevena
1959Denis Hutchinson (282) -- Gary Player
1958Arthur Stewart (281) -- Bobby Locke
1957*Harold Henning (289) -- Sandy Guthrie
1956Gary Player (286) -- Bruce Keyter
1955Bobby Locke (283) -- Reg Taylor
1954Reg Taylor (289) -- Jannie le Roux
1953*Jimmy Boyd (302) -- Otway Hayes
1952Sid Brews (305) -- Sandy Guthrie
1951Bobby Locke (277) -- Jimmy Boyd, Harry Bradshaw
1950Bobby Locke (280) -- Sandy Guthrie
1949Sid Brews (291) -- Eric Moore
1948Mickey Janks (298) -- Sandy Guthrie
1947Ronnie Glennie (293) -- Eric Moore
1946Bobby Locke (285) -- Steve Boshoff
1945Not held
1944Not held
1943Not held
1942Not held
1941Not held
1940Bobby Locke (293) -- Steve Boshoff
1939Bobby Locke (279) -- Clarence Olander, Bobby Bodmer
1938Bobby Locke (279) -- Sid Brews
1937Bobby Locke (288) -- Clarence Olander
1936*Clarence Olander (297) -- John Robertson
1935Bobby Locke (296) -- Jock Verwey
1934Sid Brews (319) -- Jock Verwey
1933Sid Brews (297) -- Charles Mcllvenny
1932Charles Mcllvenny (304) -- Bob Grimsdell
1931Sid Brews (302) -- Bob Grimsdell, Charles Mcllvenny
1930Sid Brews (297) -- Jock Brews
1929Archie Tosh (315) -- Jock Brews
1928Jock Brews (297) -- Sid Brews
1927Sid Brews (301) -- Bertie Elkin, Charles Mcllvenny
1926Jock Brews (301) -- Bertie Elkin
1925Sid Brews (295) -- Jock Brews
1924Bertie Elkin (316) -- Jock Brews, Sid Brews
1923Jock Brews (315) -- Archie Tosh
1922F. Jangle (310) -- Jock Brews
1921Jock Brews (316) -- Archie Tosh
1920Laurie Waters (302) -- Bertie Elkin
1919W.H. Horne (320) -- H.G. Stewart
1918Not held
1917Not held
1916Not held
1915Not held
1914George Fotheringham (299) -- Jock Brews
1913James Prentice (304) -- J. Binnie, J. Fotheringham
1912George Fotheringham (305) -- Laurie Waters
1911George Fotheringham (301) -- Dave Guthrie
1910George Fotheringham (315) -- A.G. Gray
1909John Fotheringham (306) -- George Fotheringham
1908George Fotheringham (294) -- Laurie Waters
1907Laurie Waters (146) -- A.G. Gray
1906A.G. Gray (151) -- H. Fraser Watson
1905A.G. Gray (NA) -- George Fotheringham
1904Laurie Waters (143) -- A.G. Gray
1903Laurie Waters (163) -- J.W. Stewart

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called South African Open (1997-98), Mercedes-Benz South
African Open (1999-2001), Bell's South African Open (2002), South African Airways Open (2003-08).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2001200220032004200520062007200820092010
Richie Ramsay------------------------T-26Won
Darren FichardtmcT-52mc4thT-33T-34thmcT-31T-6
Pablo Martin---------------------------T-6
James KingstonT-26T-3T-17T-16T-411thmcWonmcT-8
Louis Oosthuizen---mcT-14T-32T-12T-18T-5T-3T-65T-15
Richard SternemcmcT-24mcT-33T-44T-16T-16WonT-18
Branden Grace------------------T-40mcT-6T-21
Charl Schwartzel---T-15T-3T-32T-2T-12T-10T-16T-31T-26
Garth Mulroy------------------mcT-3T-2667th
Ernie Els---T-13---------2ndWonT-16T-3---
Tim Clark---Won2nd---WonT-9---T-41T-37---
Anthony Michael------------------------------
Thorbjorn Olesen------------------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Tim Clark
Darkhorse - Alex Haindl
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Louis Oosthuizen) - Missed the cut
Last Week's Darkhorse (Thomas Aiken) - Finished 5th
 
NOTES:
The European Tour wraps up its two-week stint to start the 2011 season with the South African Open Championship, one of the oldest events on tour. This tournament dates back to 1893, albeit as an exhibition. Next to the British Open, this is the oldest national championship. This event is co-sanctioned by the European and Sunshine Tours. Four of the top-40 players in the world are in the field and all of them are from South Africa. The field is led by three- time major champion and world No. 12 Ernie Els, who is a four-time winner of this event. He is joined by world No. 25 and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, two-time champion and world No. 27 Tim Clark and world No. 37 Charl Schwartzel.

Last year, Richie Ramsay birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Shiv Kapur and win this event. Ramsay closed with a seven-under 65, while Kapur posted a five-under 67 Sunday. They finished at 13-under-par 275. At the par-five 18th, which served as the playoff hole, Ramsay found the putting surface in two and two-putted for birdie and his first European Tour title.

In 2009, Richard Sterne birdied the first playoff hole to beat Gareth Maybin for his fifth European Tour victory and second in as many weeks. Sterne, who won the Alfred Dunhill Championship the week before, closed with a six-under 66 in the final round to tie Maybin for the lead at 14-under-par 274. He rolled in a three-foot birdie putt in the playoff to beat Maybin's par.

James Kingston only needed a one-under 71 in the final round of 2008 to walk away with the victory. It was his ninth victory on the Sunshine Tour and first victory on the European Tour. Kingston finished at four-under-par 284 for a one-shot win over Oliver Wilson.

Els fired a seven-under 65 in the final round in 2007 to win this event for the fourth time. Els also won this title in 1992, 1996 and 1998. Els completed the event at 24-under-par 264, which was a new tournament record. Tony Johnstone set the old mark of 267 in 1993.

In 2006, Retief Goosen matched Els' birdie on the 72nd hole to hold off his countryman and win. Goosen closed with a three-under 70 at the par-73 Fancourt Golf Club to end the tournament at 10-under-par 282 and win this crown for the second time. Els, despite an opening-round three-over 76, took second place at nine-under-par 283 after closing with a five-under 68. Goosen also won this title in 1995.

South Africans have won this event nine of the last 10 years: Sterne (2009), Kingston (2008), Els (2007), Goosen (2006), Clark (2002, 05), Trevor Immelman (2003-04) and Mark McNulty (2001).

Golf legend Gary Player is a 13-time champion of this event. Other multiple winners include: Bobby Locke (9), Sid Brews (8), Els (4), Clark (2), Immelman (2) and Goosen (2). Player and Locke hold the record for most consecutive wins with five. Player won five straight from 1965-69, while Locke captured five in a row from 1937-40 and 1946. (The tournament was not played from 1941-45.) At age 15 in 1977, Wayne Player, Gary Players's son, led the qualifying round with a 65. Then, at the first hole of the championship at Royal Johannesburg, he holed a three-iron shot for an albatross two.

George Fotheringham holds the record for largest margin of victory when he recorded a 20-shot win over Jock Brews in 1914. The low score by an amateur is held by four players at 282: Denis Hutchinson (1959), Ian Hutchings (1987), Els (1989) and Hennie Otto (1997). Els is also the only amateur in the last 21 years to have won the Freddie Taite Cup for the leading amateur and later the South African Open (as a professional).

The European Tour continues in three weeks with the Africa Open in East London, South Africa, where Schwartzel won the inaugural event in his home country last year.

12/14 13:37:17 ET

As of December 14, 2010, at 01:37 PM ET