First two players confirmed for 2009

by Jana Kotze on
Richard Sterne

Richard Sterne

The first two players to be invited to the 2009 Nedbank Golf Challenge have both accepted their invitations and confirmed that they will be vying for one of golf’s richest prizes at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City from 3 to 6 December.

As always, the first invitation issued is to the defending champion, in this case Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. Stenson won the event at his third attempt, having finished second and fourth in his first two appearances, confirming his liking for the course and the hot conditions in which the tournament is played.

In claiming the 2008 title, Stenson blitzed the field opening with a 9-under par 63 and never relinquishing the lead, ending up with a nine-stroke advantage over second-placed Kenny Perry. He also became the first Swede to claim the Nedbank Golf Challenge title.

In a television interview after his win, he said he would definitely be back to defend his title in 2009.

The next invitation was to the winner of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit in line with an initiative introduced in 2006 to add more prestige and incentive to South Africa’s top golfers plying their trade at home and performing well on the Tour’s lucrative summer swing.

Richard Sterne is the man to benefit from the 2009 invitation, having amassed more than R6 million during last year’s Tour, his incredible run of form including a playoff victory at the South African Open at Pearl Valley two weeks after the 2008 Nedbank Golf Challenge.

Not surprisingly, Sterne was quick to accept this lucrative invitation to compete against some of the world’s very best at Sun City, following in the footsteps of Charl Schwartzel – who secured the Sunshine Tour invitation in 2006 and 2007 – and James Kingston, who finished in a tie for seventh place with KJ Choi last year.

Source : Nedbank Golf Challenge Sun City 09

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