Tommy Fleetwood will return to the Nedbank Golf Challenge as ‘Africa’s Major’ celebrates its milestone 40th anniversary from November 10 – 13, 2022.
The European Ryder Cup star lifted the trophy in 2019 – the last time the event took place due to the Covid-19 pandemic – and he will defend his title when the $6,000,000 event makes a much-anticipated return to Sun City’s Gary Player Country Club. The penultimate tournament on the 2022 DP World Tour schedule will also carry an increased number of DP World Tour Ranking Points, with 7,000 points available.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge has been a highlight of the South African sporting calendar since its first edition in 1981, with former European Number One Fleetwood joining a glittering list of winners when he sealed his fifth DP World Tour title after coming from six shots back going into the final day to triumph in a thrilling play-off against Swede Marcus Kinhult.
The English star joined a roll of honour that includes South African golfing icon Ernie Els – a three-time winner of the event alongside Lee Westwood, Nick Price and David Frost – the legendary Seve Ballesteros, and Major Champions Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Sergio Garcia, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Danny Willett.
Two years earlier, during a stellar 2017 season, Fleetwood recorded a top ten finish at Gary Player Country Club, which proved to be crucial as he went on to top what was then the Race to Dubai Rankings for the first time in his career.
Fleetwood said: “I’ve had some fantastic experiences at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and I can’t wait to get back to Sun City. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to call myself the champion for longer than usual, but I’m certainly looking forward to starting my defence in November.
“It was a great feeling to come through the field on that final day to lift the trophy. Add that to the top ten finish in 2017 which helped me on the way to becoming European Number One, and I certainly have some great memories of the tournament which I would love to replicate.”
The 2022 Nedbank Golf Challenge will once again be included on the DP World Tour schedule in partnership with Nedbank and Sun International, this season as the penultimate event before the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The winner of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit will receive a place in the 64-player field at Gary Player Country Club.
“We are delighted that the Nedbank Golf Challenge will make its long-awaited return this November. We look forward to once again working with our partners at Nedbank, Sun International and the Sunshine Tour as we welcome Tommy Fleetwood and golfing stars from around the world back to Sun City,” said Keith Pelley, DP World Tour Chief Executive.
“We are very excited about the 40th edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge as we celebrate not only the incredible history of ‘Africa’s Major’, but also its much-anticipated return following the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. We are thrilled to be back, and to welcome all our special clients, partners and friends to the return of what we know will be a special week for golf and showcasing the best of our country to the world,” said Mike Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Nedbank.
“We’re delighted to welcome back the Nedbank Golf Challenge to Sun City after a two-year absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘Africa’s Major’ is a showcase event for our flagship resort, and we’re looking forward to celebrating the 40th edition of what has always been a very special partnership between Sun International and Nedbank. This incredible golf tournament has captivated South Africa and the world for decades,” said Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive of Sun International.
Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour, said: “Our partnership with the DP World Tour and Challenge Tour has provided us with incredible growth over the past season. The return of the iconic Nedbank Golf Challenge is another significant moment for us as it provides our Order of Merit winner with another tremendous opportunity to compete in ‘Africa’s Major’, as well as for our leading international stars to compete against the world’s best on home soil.”
The last edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2019 delivered record attendance figures and sold-out hospitality. Ticketing information for the milestone 40th event will follow in due course.