Stenson arrives at Sun City

Swede Henrik Stenson has arrived in South Africa ahead of this weekend’s Nedbank Golf Challenge where he will attempt to win the tournament for a second time.

Stenson was unable to defend his title at the SA Open Championship last month because of a wrist injury, but has since recovered and has completed a practice round at the adjacent Lost City Golf course.

The Race to Dubai and Fed-Ex Cup winner forms part of a 30-man field which includes Brandon de Jonge of Zimbabwe who qualified after the winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship, Charl Schwartzel, who would gain automatic entry, had already qualified for the event at the Gary Player Country Club.

De Jonge has been in solid form during the PGA Tour and will be joined by Darren Fichardt who is another first-timer having made the field as the leader of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit.

Meanwhile Germany’s Martin Kaymer is back to defend his title and described participation in the even as an honour.

“You look at all those great names on the bronze plaques on the walkway to the ninth green, and it’s nice to know mine will be on there as well,” Kaymer told tour officials.

Reminiscing about his first experience at the prestigious tournament, local favourite Charl Schwartzel revealed that picked up something of great value at the tournament he first attended with his father.

“I was watching Ernie Els putting on the practice green. Then he left to tee off, leaving behind his golf ball. So I nipped under the rope and stole it,” said Schwartzel.

On a more serious note, he said that the tournament will remain a highlight on his calendar.

“It really is a special event. I rate the tournament highly. I think for a South African to play the Nedbank it’s big.”