Nedbank Golf Challenge 2009 Pro-Am Resultson December 3, 2009
Although this is their first visit to the Sun City, Gary Player Country Club, Hunter Mahan and Ross Fisher wasted no time in finding the secret to low scoring on the layout, and both posted 6-under rounds of 66 in the Pro-Am.
Next best was another first-timer in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, (although he knows the course well) Richard Sterne, who fired a 68. Also on 4-under par was Robert Allenby, who has played in this event twice before, in 2002 and 2003.
Both Angel Cabrera and Rory McIlroy gave good accounts of themselves with 69s, with the only other player under par being Nick Watney (71).
Luke Donald’s 72 may not have spectacular, but it was certainly a more respectable score than that submitted by Tim Clark, who could only manage an uncharacteristic 79. Even more surprising was the fact that 3 players – defending champion, Henrik Stenson, Retief Goosen and Robert Karlsson – entered ‘no-returns’, effectively disqualifying themselves from the individual section of the Pro-Am.
Of course not too much can be read into the performance of players during Pro-Ams, and all too often they concentrate on ensuring that their amateur partners have a good time rather than focusing on their own games.
What was interesting was the wide range of scores, particular after the player’s comments once they had completed their practice rounds. It was generally accepted that the course was likely to give up more birdies than is customary, with lower than usual rainfall resulting in less penal rough.
The highest team scores were made by Luke Donald and his amateurs (102 – best two scores to count after a scramble drive) and the Hunter Mahan team (who won the Pro-Am on a count-out.)