The Numbers Gameon December 6, 2009
The attendance figures for the Nedbank Golf Challenge prove that this glittering golf extravaganza has lost none of its appeal and despite an ailing economy that has yet to show any real signs of recovery, fans continued to flock to the resort.
Although numbers for the first round was marginally down on last year (some 4%), on the Friday a total of 15,500 spectators came through the turnstiles, a number that excludes residents. This constituted an increase of 14% compared with the second round last year.
Perhaps even more surprising was the figure of 17, 393 spectators that attended the third round. With one of the major draw cards, Rory McIlroy, having to withdraw from the tournament due to illness, it might have been expected that less spectators might have made the trip to Sun City, but total attendance still exceeded the 2008 figures by about a 1000.
Greg Garden, Nedbank’s Divisional Director: Group Marketing, was delighted to see the increase in the numbers, and he was even more upbeat about the prospect of an intriguing final round. “It was a pity that Rory (McIlroy) had to withdraw, but the tournament has developed into what promises into a thrilling climax,” said Garden, alluding to the fact that fully half the field has a realistic chance of winning.
An hour before the final round was due to begin, it became clear that attendance figures are likely to surpass those of last year, and it is clear that this glittering event has lost none of its luster.