Tommy Fleetwood will aim to complete the Nedbank Golf Challenge hat-trick when he returns to Sun City’s Gary Player Country Club from November 9 – 12, 2023.
The European Ryder Cup star last year successfully defended the trophy, which he first won in 2019, as ‘Africa’s Major’ returned to the DP World Tour International Schedule following the Covid-19 pandemic and the Englishman will launch the second defence of his title when the $6,000,000 event returns later this year.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge has been a highlight of the South African sporting calendar since its first edition in 1981, with the Englishman among a glittering list of winners including South African golfing icon Ernie Els – a three-time winner of the event – the legendary Seve Ballesteros, and Major Champions Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Sir Nick Faldo, Retief Goosen, Trevor Immelman and Danny Willett.
Fleetwood has an enviable record at Gary Player Country Club, finishing in a tie for tenth in 2017, a result which helped him towards being crowned Race to Dubai Champion later that year, before defeating Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult in a play-off two years later following a sublime seven under par closing round.
The two-time Ryder Cup player then came out on top of a thrilling final day battle with New Zealand’s Ryan Fox in 2022 to win in South Africa for a second time and the 32-year-old is relishing his return in November.
Fleetwood said: “I’ve got some great memories from the Nedbank Golf Challenge and I’m really excited to get back to Sun City.
“Last year’s event was such a rollercoaster with the weather, and I wasn’t feeling great at the start of the week, so to be able to come out on top on Sunday was amazing.
“It is always special to defend any title but returning to Sun City as defending champion is a true honour. I was lucky enough to be able to do it last year and I can’t wait to do it again this year. Nobody has ever won this event three times in a row so I can’t wait to give that a go.”
Gary Player, the Tournament Host, said: “When we launched this tournament I called on the biggest names in golf to support us, which they did. I am delighted that Tommy continues to do so as well and I can’t wait to greet him on the first tee once again. He has written his name into Nedbank Golf Challenge history as a magnificent champion by becoming only the seventh golfer to win back-to-back titles at Sun City.
“He is a wonderful ambassador for the game of golf who now has the chance to stand alone in the history of this event as its first ever winner of three consecutive titles and to add to the incredible legacy of this great tournament.”
Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive Officer of Sun International, said: “The scenes around the 18th green last year as Tommy celebrated with our Gary Player Country Club course staff and the spectators were some of the most memorable we’ve seen at Sun City in this tournament. We are proud to welcome back such a great champion who has not only written his name into Nedbank Golf Challenge history with his two titles, but also into the hearts of all fans of this great event.”
Mike Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Nedbank, said: “We are delighted that Tommy is returning to defend his title and to also have a shot at history as he seeks to become the first player to win three consecutive Nedbank Golf Challenge titles. Tommy represents everything of the legacy and passion of this event, and as ‘Africa’s Major’ it is a great way to tee off our sponsorship activities for the 41st edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.”
The 2023 Nedbank Golf Challenge will once again be included on the DP World Tour schedule in partnership with Nedbank and Sun International and will be 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.