Nick Price will be one of the major attractions when he makes a return to the South African golf circuit for the annual Nedbank Champions Challenge next month.
Report by Daniel Nhakaniso Sports Reporter
The 55 year-old Zimbabwean golfing legend, who now competes in 50 years-and-over Champions Tour, will join a star-studded field from November 29 to December 1 at the famous Gary Player Country Club at Sun City – a course he knows well.
The evergreen Price will line up against other fellow greats such as American legend Tom Watson, Germany’s Bernhard Langer, Wales’ Ian Woosnam and Americans Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Jeff Sluman and defending champion Mark Calcavecchia in what is being billed as the strongest senior field ever to compete at Sun City.
The eight champions will battle it out over 54 holes from Thursday, November 29 to Saturday, December 1, playing for a purse of $880 000 and a first prize of $250 000.
Price has very fond memories at Sun City where he has won three times and will certainly be one of the crowd favourites at the event which is widely considered as “Africa’s Major”.
In 1993, Price produced one of the finest displays ever witnessed in the history of the Nedbank Golf Challenge when he shot spectacular rounds of 67, 66, 66 and 65 at the Gary Player Country Club to win the first of his three titles with a then record total of 24 under par.
Then in 1997 he beat Ernie Els for his second Nedbank Golf Challenge title, and in 1998, when Tiger Woods came to Africa, Price stared him down in a playoff and beat him for his third victory in this event.
Those three displays gave the perfect glimpse of a player who firmly put Zimbabwean golf on the world stage in the 90s when he was the dominant force in world golf.
There are also four former world number ones in the field in Watson, Price, Woosnam and Langer, as well as a host of Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup honours.
Watson holds the most Majors in the field of eight, including five Open Championship titles, the most famous of which was his epic Duel in the Sun with Jack Nicklaus at Turnberry in 1977.
Langer leads the field in terms of worldwide victories of 85 and joins Funk, Haas and Calcavecchia as winners on the Champions Tour this season.
Langer has been a revelation ever since he joined the Champions Tour, winning the Charles Schwab Cup three seasons in succession, while Haas won it twice consecutively.
“I think this is a magnificent field that is really going to enhance this year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge and bring back a lot of memories for the fans,” tournament director Alastair Roper told the Nedbank Golf Challenge website.