Originally known as the Million Dollar Challenge, the Nedbank Golf Challenge is a limited field event played in South Africa since 1981. In 2016, the Nedbank Golf Challenge replaces the BMW Masters as part of the European Tour Final Series with a 72 player field. The top 64 available players from the Race To Dubai standings comprise most of the field. The remainder is made up of the defending champion, prior years winner of the Sunshine Tour order of merit, and tournament invitations.
Throughout most of the tournament’s history it was one of the “silly season” tournaments, wedged between the end of one professional golf season and the beginning of the next. In 2013, however, the Nedbank Golf Challenge became an official tournament for both South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, and for the European Tour. The event has counted toward the World Rankings points since 1999.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge has been held at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City since its inception. The course is par 72, and measures 7.831 yards.
(I love watching South African golf on television. The courses look so amazing, and so different from what I play here in Michigan. Put South Africa on my golf bucket list)
For the first twenty two years of the tournament’s history, it had a field of 12 players, which included the defending champion, the Sunshine Tour money winner, any of the four major winners and filled out with the top available players in the Official World Golf Rankings. In 2013, the field expanded to thirty players: the defending champion, the top ten Race to Dubai players, the top ten PGA Tour FedEx Cup players, top playes on the Sunshine Tour, Japan Golf Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit, the Alfred Dunhill Championship winner and the top five South African players in the World Golf Rankings.
What has made the tournament stand out over the years is the money. From 2000 to 2002, first prize was more than half the purse. At some $2 million that reportedly made it the largest winner’s take in professional golf. In 2003, the winner’s share was reduced to thirty percent. For comparison, the standard on the PGA Tour is 18%. The percentage has since been further reduced so that it is in line with other tournaments.
A complete list of Nedbank Golf Challenge Winners follows.
|2018||Lee Westwood (3)||England||273 (-15)||1, 250,000|
|2017||Branden Grace||South Africa||277 (-11)||1,166,600|
|2016||Alexander Noren||Sweden||274 (-14)||1,166,600|
|2015||Mark Leishman||Australia||269 (-19)||1,250,000|
|2014||Danny Willett||England||270 (-18)||1,250,000|
|2013||Thomas Bjørn||Denmark||268 (−20)||1,250,000|
|2012||Martin Kaymer||Germany||280 (−8)||1,250,000|
|2011||Lee Westwood (2)||England||273 (−15)||1,250,000|
|2010||Lee Westwood||England||271 (−17)||1,250,000|
|2009||Robert Allenby||Australia||277 (−11)PO||1,200,000|
|2008||Henrik Stenson||Sweden||267 (−21)||1,200,000|
|2007||Trevor Immelman||South Africa||272 (−16)||1,200,000|
|2006||Jim Furyk (2)||United States||276 (−12)||1,200,000|
|2005||Jim Furyk||United States||282 (−6)PO||1,200,000|
|2004||Retief Goosen||South Africa||281 (−7)||1,200,000|
|2003||Sergio García (2)||Spain||274 (−14)PO||1,200,000|
|2002||Ernie Els (3)||South Africa||267 (−21)||2,000,000|
|2001||Sergio García||Spain||268 (−20)PO||2,000,000|
|2000||Ernie Els (2)||South Africa||268 (−20)PO||2,000,000|
|1999||Ernie Els||South Africa||263 (−25)||1,000,000|
|1998||Nick Price (3)||Zimbabwe||273 (−15)PO||1,000,000|
|1997||Nick Price (2)||Zimbabwe||275 (−13)||1,000,000|
|1996||Colin Montgomerie||Scotland||274 (−14)PO||1,000,000|
|1995||Corey Pavin||United States||276 (−12)||1,000,000|
|1994||Nick Faldo||England||272 (−16)||1,000,000|
|1993||Nick Price||Zimbabwe||264 (−24)||1,000,000|
|1992||David Frost (3)||South Africa||276 (−12)||1,000,000|
|1991||Bernhard Langer (2)||Germany||272 (−16)||1,000,000|
|1990||David Frost (2)||South Africa||284 (−4)||1,000,000|
|1989||David Frost||South Africa||276 (−12)||1,000,000|
|1988||Fulton Allem||South Africa||278 (−10)||1,000,000|
|1987||Ian Woosnam||Wales||274 (−14)||1,000,000|
|1986||Mark McNulty||Zimbabwe||282 (−6)||300,000|
|1985||Bernhard Langer||West Germany||278 (−10)||300,000|
|1984||Seve Ballesteros (2)||Spain||279 (−9)||300,000|
|1983||Seve Ballesteros||Spain||274 (-14)||300,000|
|1982||Raymond Floyd||United States||280 (−8)PO||300,000|
|1981||Johnny Miller||United States||277 (−11)PO||500,000|