Els headlines Major field for Alfred Dunhill Championship

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Ernie Els (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

Ernie Els will lead an incredible field of Major winners and former champions of the Alfred Dunhill Championship when this prestigious €1.5 million tournament is played at Leopard Creek Country Club from December 8-11.

Els, a four-time Major champion and former world number one, returns to Leopard Creek as the winner of the 2005 Alfred Dunhill Championship and runner-up in 2007.

The South African will be joined in this Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour co-sanctioned tournament by former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who is a record four-time winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship and also has four runner-up finishes in the tournament.

Schwartzel also holds the record for the biggest margin of victory in the tournament with his 12-stroke triumph in 2012 as well as the lowest tournament total of 24 under par that same year.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, adds to the Major winners in the field and is seeking his first Alfred Dunhill Championship title after coming close with a second place in 2005.

The list of former Alfred Dunhill Championship winners in the field is also impressive, including Branden Grace, the only player to have won both the Alfred Dunhill Championship and its sister tournament the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, and Brandon Stone, Pablo Larrazabal, Richard Sterne and defending champion Christiaan Bezuidenhout.

The tournament will also feature Shaun Norris, the winner of the Sunshine Tour’s Luno Order of Merit last season, Thriston Lawrence, the first South African to ever win the DP World Tour’s Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award, DP World Tour winners George Coetzee and Joachim B Hansen, PGA Tour campaigners Erik van Rooyen and MJ Daffue, and rising South African star Casey Jarvis.

The local South African challenge for one of the flagship tournaments on the Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour includes every single winner on the Sunshine Tour this season, with Coetzee and Albert Venter both having won twice on the Tour this season already.

South Africa’s top amateurs will also compete led by current number one Yurav Premlall, who together with Aldrich Potgieter, winner of The Amateur this year, Kyle de Beer and Christiaan Maas make up four of the top five players on the current GolfRSA rankings.

From an Irish perspective, so far only Tom McKibbin has qualified for the event.

The Alfred Dunhill Championship continues to have an equally significant impact outside of the ropes. One of the primary beneficiaries of Alfred Dunhill’s proud history in golf is the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB). Both the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Championship donate tournament proceeds to the SAGDB.

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