The Nedbank Golf Challenge, previously known as the Million Dollar Challenge, is at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, North West province, South Africa. The golf course since its opening in 1979, has been acknowledged as South Africa’s premier championship test of golf.
The home course is immaculately groomed layout and has received rave reviews from the world’s top golfers, who agree that it is both demanding and fair. 2020 will be the first time since 1981 that the tournament has been cancelled.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge is one of the highlights of the South African sporting calendar and has featured some the greatest names in world golf. With 63 players, playing over 4 days, for a purse of $7.5 million, the tournament forms part of the Rolex Series on the European Tour and is the penultimate event on the Race to Dubai.
Difficult, but ultimately best decision
The European Tour, in partnership with title sponsors Nedbank and tournament host Sun International, has announced that the much anticipated 40th anniversary of the tournament, originally rescheduled for December 3-6, 2020 at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, will now take place in 2021.
“This was a very difficult decision for us to make but it’s one we are taking in the best interests of the tournament and all those involved in it,” said Mike Brown, Chief Executive Nedbank Group. “The Nedbank Golf Challenge has always been far more than just a golf tournament.
The ability to see the best golfers in the world in action, corporate hospitality, the spectators, and the platform it gives us to showcase South Africa to the world for tourism purposes means that going ahead with this year’s tournament under the current restrictions and constraints on all of these important factors was just not feasible.
As such, together with our partners at Sun International and the European Tour, we have taken the decision to postpone the 40th anniversary until 2021 when it can hopefully be celebrated in the manner golf fans have been accustomed to seeing at the Nedbank Golf Challenge”.
Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive Sun International, said: “This has been an unprecedented time for all of us in golf and in the hospitality industry. As we now slowly emerge from the restrictions that we have had to adhere to, we agree that it is prudent to postpone what is a flagship event for us and Sun City to a time when we can do it full justice and maintain the very high standards we have always set for this event since 1981”.
Tournament host Gary Player said: “I am confident that the European Tour, Nedbank and Sun International would have done all in their power to try and make sure this year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge could go ahead, and that this is a decision they would not have taken lightly.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge is a tournament we are all extremely proud of, and if postponing it for a year allows us to present an even better Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2021, then I fully support this”. Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said: “The Nedbank Golf Challenge is a spectacular event which showcases many of the wonderful elements that South Africa brings to the world of golf.
To ensure that the tournament is the best it can be for the players and all of our stakeholders, it is right that we wait until a time when we can celebrate the 40th anniversary in a fitting manner”. The date for the 40th Anniversary Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2021 will be announced in due course.