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

DATES: Thursday, November 24th through Sunday, November 27th
SITE: Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate (Masai Mara Course),
         Ekurhuleni, South Africa
COURSE ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus (2009)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 7,761
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 447 yds10 - Par 4 417 yds
2 - Par 4 382 yds11 - Par 5 603 yds
3 - Par 5 677 yds12 - Par 3 225 yds
4 - Par 4 445 yds13 - Par 4 491 yds
5 - Par 3 204 yds14 - Par 4 451 yds
6 - Par 4 460 yds15 - Par 3 183 yds
7 - Par 4 482 yds16 - Par 5 628 yds
8 - Par 5 576 yds17 - Par 4 375 yds
9 - Par 3 230 yds18 - Par 4 485 yds
--------------------------
36 3,903 Yds36 3,858 Yds
 
Annual:  101st
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-12 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Ernie Els
Runner-Up:  Retief Goosen
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:  $1,350,712 (1,000,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $214,087; 2nd Place - $155,331; 3rd Place - $93,477
 
2010 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Ernie Els263Romain Wattel272
Retief Goosen264Alex Cejka273
Louis Oosthuizen267Victor Riu273
Charl Schwartzel269Tim Clark274
Robert Rock272Robert Dinwiddie274
Thorbjorn Olesen274
 
Past SA Open Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2010Ernie Els (263) -- Retief Goosen
2009*Richie Ramsay (275) -- Shiv Kapur
2008*Richard Sterne (274) -- Gareth Maybin
2007James Kingston (284) -- Oliver Wilson
2006Ernie Els (264) -- Trevor Immelman
2005Retief 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), South African Open Championship (2009-10)

Top Contenders in the Field
Player20062007200820092010
Ernie ElsWonT-16T-3---Won
Retief GoosenT-5T-16T-6---2nd
Robert RockT-10T-7---T-31T-5
Darren Fichardt4thmcT-31T-6T-6
James KingstonmcWonmcT-8T-14
Branden GraceT-40mcT-6T-21T-21
Jaco Van Zyl14thT-57T-31T-47T-27
Garth MulroymcT-3T-2667th48th
George Murray------------T-53
Pablo Martin---------T-6T-61
George Coetzee---T-44T-19T-31mc
Simon Dyson---T-11T-37------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Jaco Van Zyl
Darkhorse - Jbe' Kruger
 
Last Week's Pick to Win - Johor Open (Louis Oosthuizen) - T-8
Last Week's Darkhorse - Johor Open (Danny Lee) - Missed the cut
 
Last Week's Pick to Win - Dunhill Championship (George Coetzee) - T-3
Last Week's Darkhorse - Dunhill Championship (Tjaart van der Walt) - T-29
 
NOTES:
The European Tour is in South Africa this week for the SA 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.

Three of the top 60 players in the world are in the field - Simon Dyson (32) and South Africa's Retief Goosen (52) and Ernie Els (53). Els is a five-time winner of this event, while Goosen is a two-time winner. Els and Goosen both played for the International team that lost to the United States at The Presidents Cup last week.

Last year, Els held off a hard-charging Goosen in the final round to win his national championship for a fifth time. Els posted a six-under 66 on the final day but Goosen nearly caught him. Goosen birdied his last three holes and four of his last five, but his 66 came up a stroke short.

In 2009, Richie Ramsay birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Shiv Kapur. Ramsay closed with a seven-under 65, while Kapur posted a five-under 67. 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 2008, 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 2007 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.

South Africans have won this event 10 of the last 11 years: Els (2007, 10) Sterne (2008), Kingston (2007), Els (2006), Goosen (2005), 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 (5), 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' 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. Els is also the only amateur in the last 22 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 next week in Hong Kong for the UBS Hong Kong Open, where Ian Poulter won the title last year.

11/22 18:03:36 ET

As of November 22, 2011, at 06:03 PM ET