The DP World Tour, Nedbank and Sun International today announce an extended agreement which will see the Nedbank Golf Challenge played in honour of Gary Player for the next three years.
This year’s edition of ‘Africa’s Major’ will be the penultimate event on the 2023 Race to Dubai before the tournament returns to its traditional December date in 2024- forming part of the 2025 Race to Dubai – where it will remain for the following two years as part of today’s agreement.
South African legend Gary Player has been associated with the event since its formation in 1981, when he was part of a five-man field for its inaugural staging, and the event will, from 2024, be officially held in honour of the nine-time Major Champion in recognition of his contribution to the global game, similar to events held on the PGA TOUR in honour of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer with The Memorial Tournament and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The 2023 tournament will be held from November 9-12 at Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, and will boast a strong field including defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, his countryman and Ryder Cup teammate Justin Rose and two-time Major winner Justin Thomas alongside a host of stars of the DP World Tour, thus highlighting the global appeal of the tournament.
Player, who has over 150 professional wins to his name during a glittering 70-year career, said: “It is with such a deep sense of gratitude that we can look forward to the future of a tournament that we started with nothing more than a dream, and which now over four decades later is a dream shared and enjoyed by so many.
“The legacy of a tournament such as this reflects the legacy of the many great people involved who through their passion for this event have seen it thrive. ‘Africa’s Major’ is all about the spirit of South Africa to overcome and inspire, and I am truly humbled to be a part of something that for one week every year at Sun City brings us all together in celebration of this spirit.”
Mike Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Nedbank, said: “Nedbank has a long-standing history with the Nedbank Golf Challenge, from being the official banking partner in the tournament’s early days to becoming the title sponsor of ‘Africa’s Major’, and this renewal continues our proud association with this event.
“The Nedbank Golf Challenge is one of South Africa’s iconic sport and entertainment events that showcases the very best of our country on the global stage. Similarly, Gary Player has been an incredible ambassador for our country on the global stage for decades and it is a fitting tribute that the Nedbank Golf Challenge is played in honour of the status he has as one of South Africa’s greatest sportsmen and the drive behind this tournament since it was first played in 1981.
“The longevity of our title partnership is a rare occurrence in world sport and reflects a shared interest with our partners Sun International and the DP World Tour for hosting a tournament that is as sustainable as it is successful, and which continues to inspire and excite generations of golfers and golf fans in South Africa and around the world.
Anthony Leeming, Chief Executive Officer of Sun International, said: “We are extremely excited to announce the renewal of a tournament that has always been at the very core of Sun City’s global presence as one of the world’s leading resorts. The Nedbank Golf Challenge remains one of our flagship events at undoubtedly our flagship resort.
“I’d like to thank our partners Nedbank, the DP World Tour and Gary Player for their continued support of the Nedbank Golf Challenge as we keep moving the tournament forward into exciting new eras in the game and keep showcasing the wonders of not only Sun City but also our beautiful country to our international audience.”
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the DP World Tour, said: “What Gary Player has achieved both on and off the golf course during his magnificent career is incredible and it is therefore fitting that we are able to hold one of Africa’s most celebrated tournaments in his honour. I would like to thank Mr Player for his commitment to the Nedbank Golf Challenge, which would also not be the success it is without the support of Nedbank and Sun International.
“It is a tournament that has been one of the highlights on the DP World Tour since it first became part of our schedule ten years ago and we are delighted that today’s announcement will see the event continue until 2026.”
In addition to exempt DP World Tour members, the 2025 Nedbank Golf Challenge, held in December 2024, will look to incorporate leading players from the FedExCup Standings to contribute to a world class field.