Three players to watch at ‘Africa’s Major’ at Sun City
SUN CITY – Ahead of the start of the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Thursday - ‘Africa’s Major’ - at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, here are three players who could well walk away with the win.
While the smooth-swinging South African Louis Oosthuizen has never triumphed at the Gary Player Country Club, there is a feeling that his name will be etched on to the trophy sooner rather than later.
Although third place last year was his best result in ‘Africa’s Major’, it’s his worst placing that really catches the eye. In eight appearances at Sun City, Oosthuizen has finished no lower than 14th and has recorded two top-five and five top-10 finishes – ominous to say the least.
The 37-year-old can also lay claim to being the second-most successful player on South African soil – behind Ernie Els – in this week’s field, having won five times with 11 top fives and 18 top-10s in 39 appearances in his homeland.
Add in the fact that he comes into the seventh Rolex Series event of the season on the back of a third place finish in China at the WGC-HSBC Champions and it’s hard to argue against the 2010 Open Champion.
A year on from navigating his way through European Tour Qualifying School and Kurt Kitayama has the chance to become the first American since Tiger Woods to win three times in a single European Tour season.
The 26-year-old narrowly missed out on doing that last week after carding a stunning final round of 64 to feature in a floodlit six-man play-off at the Turkish Airlines Open.
While it wasn’t to be on that occasion, Kitayama has been knocking on the door for a third title for some time, having claimed three top five finishes in his last four starts.
The man from Las Vegas has also proven he’s a player for the big occasions too – he’s broken par in 15 of his last 17 Rolex Series rounds.
Of those competing this week England’s Andy Sullivan has the best record for a non-South African golfer when it comes to the Rainbow Nation.
The Englishman has won twice, recorded six top five and six top-10 results on South African soil, including third place in this event in 2016.
Having claimed a share of eighth in his last outing in Portugal the 32-year-old returns to Sun City in fine form with hopes of completing a South African hattrick.
African News Agency (ANA)