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

DATES: Thursday, November 15th through Sunday, November 18th
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 3 205 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 4 484 yds
--------------------------
36 3,904 Yds36 3,857 Yds
 
Annual:  102nd
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Hennie Otto
Runner-Up:  Bernd Wiesberger
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:  $1,270,844 (1,000,000 euros)
Shares:  1st Place - $202,062; 2nd Place - $146,606; 3rd Place - $88,218
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Hennie Otto274Retief Goosen278
Bernd Wiesberger275Trevor Fisher, Jr.278
Richard McEvoy277Magnus A. Carlsson278
Thomas Aiken277Four players at279
Ockie Strydom277
 
Past SA Open Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Hennie Otto (274) -- Bernd Wiesberger
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
Player200620072008200920102011
Hennie OttoT-49T-21T-37wdmcWon
Branden GraceT-40mcT-6T-21T-21T-9
Garth MulroymcT-3T-2667th48thT-9
Jaco Van Zyl14thT-57T-31T-47T-27T-20
Darren Fichardt4thmcT-31T-6T-6T-25
George Murray------------T-53T-54
James KingstonmcWonmcT-8T-14mc
George Coetzee---T-44T-19T-31mcmc
Charl SchwartzelT-10T-16T-31T-264th---
Richard SterneT-16T-16WonT-18T-21---
Martin Kaymer------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Martin Kaymer
Darkhorse - Jaco Van Zyl
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Rory McIlroy) - Finished 3rd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Paul Casey) - Finished tied for 10th
 
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-40 players in the world are in the field -- Martin Kaymer (32), and South Africa's Charl Schwartzel (33) and Branden Grace (39). Grace has four victories on the European Tour this season, which is two more than any other player. He will try to become the first South African to win five European Tour events in the same season. Grace and Ernie Els (2003) are the only South Africans to win four times in the same season. Kaymer and Schwartzel are trying to regain the form that made them major champions - Kaymer at the 2010 PGA Championship and Schwartzel at the 2011 Masters. Both players are still looking for their first victory of 2012.

South Africans have won this event 11 of the last 12 years: Hennie Otto (2011), Ernie Els (2006, 10), Richard Sterne (2008), James Kingston (2007), Retief Goosen (2005), Tim 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 Player's son, led the qualifying round with a 65. Then, at the first hole of the championship at Royal Johannesburg, he holed a 3-iron shot for an albatross two.

Last year, Otto overcame a near calamitous back-nine breakdown in the final round with a birdie at No. 17 to win. Otto lost a 3-shot cushion when he tallied three bogeys in a four-hole span from the 13th. That dropped Otto into a tie for the lead with Bernd Wiesberger at 13-under par. With Wiesberger in the clubhouse, Otto had two holes left to inch ahead. He did just that with a birdie at the 17th. Otto chipped to six feet at the short par four and converted the birdie effort. Otto parred the last to hold on to win his national championship at Serengeti Golf Club. Otto finished at 14-under 274 for a 1-stroke victory over Wiesberger. The win was Otto's second on the European Tour after winning the 2008 Italian Open.

In 2010, Els held off a hard-charging Goosen in the final round to win his national championship for a fifth time. Els posted a 6-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.

Richie Ramsay birdied the first playoff hole in 2009 to defeat Shiv Kapur. The pair finished at 13-under-par 275. At the par-5 18th, which served as the playoff hole, Ramsay found the putting surface in two and 2-putted for birdie and his first European Tour title.

In 2008, 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 6-under 66 in the final round to tie Maybin for the lead at 14-under-par 274. He rolled in a 3-foot birdie putt in the playoff to beat Maybin's par.

Kingston only needed a 1-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 4-under-par 284 for a 1- shot win over Oliver Wilson.

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 23 years to have won the Freddie Taite Cup for the leading amateur and later the South African Open (as a professional).

The European Tour moves to Dubai next week for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, where Alvaro Quiros captured the tournament last year.

11/14 14:08:26 ET

As of November 14, 2012, at 02:08 PM ET