Cape Town - Gary Player, one of the greatest golfers of all time, will be the official host of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, the second leg of The European Tour’s Final Series.
According to the Sunshine Tour website, the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player will be played at the Gary Player Golf and Country Club in Sun City from November 10-13, 2016, 35 years after the man himself designed the course.
Player was only the third player after Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen to win all four Major Championships, the career grand slam, a feat later matched by Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.
“I’m blessed and deeply honoured to be so closely associated with such an important tournament,” said Player. “I’m proud that the Gary Player Country Club provides the setting for some of the world’s best players to show off their talents, and I’m especially proud that this will happen in South Africa.”
Since its inception in 1981, the tournament has attracted some of the game’s greatest players, and its list of champions includes the late Seve Ballesteros, former world No 1s Nick Price, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer, as well as South African Ernie Els.
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer of the European Tour, said: “Gary Player is synonymous with the Nedbank Golf Challenge, so it is fitting that his name is officially attached to the title.
“He brings so much to the event – and to golf in general – and inspires so many players, so we are delighted to have him on board in this official capacity.”
Selwyn Nathan, Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour, said: “Gary Player is one the greatest players the game has known, and he brings a special presence to a great tournament.
“He won his first career Grand Slam at 29, and he represents the excellence the Sunshine Tour strives to produce from the young players who start their careers on the local circuit.
“His enthusiasm will add immeasurably to a great tournament, and honouring him in this way will continue an association with a tournament he helped to start in 1981.”
Graeme Stephens, Chief Executive of Sun International, said: “With the Gary Player Country Club as the jewel in Sun International’s golf course crown, we’re thrilled to have the man who designed a course that has consistently been rated one of the best in South Africa even more closely associated with the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
“Gary Player brings a zest for life to anything he does, and we couldn’t be happier to be associated with that enthusiasm.”
Mike Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Nedbank, said: “Gary Player is a fixture at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, and it is entirely appropriate that his name becomes linked with the name of a tournament in which he played a major role in starting.
“He represents excellence in so many fields, and there can be no better fit for Nedbank as title sponsors of the tournament.”