Els skips Woods’ event for NGC

Ernie Els has decided not to play in Tiger Woods’ World Challenge in order to take part in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

The South African was originally pencilled in for the Northwestern Mutual Challenge at the Sherwood Country Club from December 2-8, but has decided to withdraw due to a clash of dates.

The four-time major winner will now instead make a record 17th appearance in the $6.5 million Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club from December 5-8.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back and playing such a special event,” said Els, who won the event in 1999, 2000 and 2002.

His last appearance was in 2010, but he will head there on the back of some good form the past few months as he won the BMW International Open.

“We are delighted to have Ernie in the field,” said Sun International’s Tournament Director Alastair Roper.

“He is an institution in the Nedbank Golf Challenge and has been its most popular and successful player ever since his debut in 1992.

“Ernie’s career has overlapped with some of the greatest milestones in the history of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, so it’s wonderful that he’s in the new 30-man field and part of this new era in the tournament.”