GolfGrace a dark horse to win 'Africa's Major'
─── MORGAN PIEK 08:14 Tue, 07 Nov 2023
The 2023 Nedbank Golf Challenge will be played at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City this week and it remains to be seen if a South African golfer can win the iconic tournament for the first time since 2017.
The former champion and LIV golfer, Branden Grace, is considered a dark horse for this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in the Pilanesberg.
Grace, who won 'Africa's Major' in one of a few players to have also won the South Africa Open, the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the Joburg Open, but these days he plays for the Stingers in LIV golf.
Grace is the only one of the Stingers team confirmed in the field, with Dean Burmester, Louis Oosthuizen and Louis Oosthuizen, all not playing.
The 35-year-old Grace is also the last South African golfer to win the ‘Million Dollar’ tournament.
Tommy Fleetwood is the double defending champion and is targeting a hat-trick this year. Apart from Fleetwood, the only other winner since Grace won the title six years ago is Lee Westwood on England. There were a few years when the tournament wasn’t played because of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
While Grace is certainly a player that knows his way around the iconic and tough golf course, his countryman, Thriston Lawrence, could spring a surprise and become the next South African winner.
Erik van Rooyen's WWT Championship win in Mexico on the PGA Tour on Sunday installed him as South Africa's top-ranked golfer, however, he is not playing this week, and this sees Lawrence as the leading local player in the field.
The first round at the Gary Player Country Club tees off on Thursday morning.
Morgan Piek OFM Sport