Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn kisses the Ryder Cup following their victory over Team USA in France last month. Photo: Alastair Grant/AP

SUN CITY, October 10 (ANA) – Thomas Bjorn will return to the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player from November 8 to 11, with Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup captain joining a world-class field at the penultimate Rolex Series event on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.

The Dane, who clinched the last of his 15 European Tour titles at Gary Player Country Club at the start of the 2014 season, is returning to South Africa for the first time since he captained Europe to a 17.5-10.5 victory over the United States in Paris in September.

This year, the $7.5 million (R109m) tournament is once again part of the Rolex Series – the premium category of tournaments on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai – and will be a pivotal event in helping to crown the Race to Dubai Champion the following week.

Bjorn produced a stunning final round 65 to claim the Nedbank Golf Challenge title four years ago – including two eagles on the back nine – with a two-shot victory over Jamie Donaldson and Sergio Garcia.

Europe’s all-time Ryder Cup points leader Garcia and fellow major winner Rory McIlroy are also in the field this year, and Bjorn is relishing the opportunity to go up against some familiar faces in Sun City

“I’ve got great memories of this event, and I’m looking forward to getting back to Sun City as a special year comes to a close,” said Bjorn.

“Winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge in its first year on the European Tour schedule is something I won’t forget.

“I knew I had to go low on the final day, and in the end, it was a fantastic battle against Sergio and Jamie.

“It’s always an exciting week, and I’m looking forward to being part of such a great field, including several members of Team Europe.”

This year’s field also includes home favourite and defending champion Branden Grace as well as his countryman and fellow Rolex Series winner Brandon Stone, who secured the Scottish Open title in July.

Bjorn is part of an illustrious list of former Nedbank Golf Challenge champions, including the late, great Seve Ballesteros (1983 and 1984), Ernie Els (1999, 2000 and 2002), Bernhard Langer (1985 and 1991), Colin Montgomerie (1996), Sir Nick Faldo (1994) and Garcia in 2001 and 2003.

More recently, Sweden’s Alex Noren, a two-time Rolex Series winner and 2018 Ryder Cup star, captured his first title in South Africa in 2016.

African News Agency (ANA)