The Nedbank Golf Challenge has a long and illustrious history of providing a stage for the world's best golfers to enthral the South African golf loving public. Over three decades the tournament has grown in stature, and what began as an 'exhibition' of golf, soon grew into a fully-fledged tournament complete with official world ranking points.
The tournament has unquestionably become the greatest showcase of golf on the African continent.
Played during the first week of December, a time of the year when both the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup and the European Tour's Race to Dubai have been concluded, the marquee names in professional golf consider the Nedbank Golf Challenge to be a year-end highlight.
Seven members of the victorious 2012 European Ryder Cup winning team will tee it up at this year's event, including the defending 2010 and 2011 champion Lee Westwood.
The live television broadcast goes out to approximately 200 countries, raising Nedbank's profile while at the same time marketing South Africa as a tourist destination and drawing attention to Sun City.
The Nedbank Golf Challenge has the distinction of hosting every golfer ever to hold the position of world number one since the official ranking system came into effect. This is a fitting tribute to one of South Africa's greatest resorts and golf courses and reaffirms the tournament's status as Africa's Major.
Nedbank Champions Challenge
American Tom Watson will lead the strongest senior field ever to compete at Sun City in this year's Nedbank Champions Challenge (formerly known as the Nedbank Senior Challenge), which will be played during the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City from 29 November to 2 December.
The eight-time Major champion and one of the greatest golfers in the history of the game will be the biggest drawcard in the 54-hole Nedbank Champions Challenge.
The 63-year-old Watson is making his debut in the Nedbank Champions Challenge, and joins a field that includes 2010 tournament winner Jeff Sluman and last year's champion Mark Calcavecchia.
The other player's in this year's field include Nick Price, Welshman Ian Woosnam, Germany's Bernhard Langer, and Americans Jay Haas, Fred Funk, Jeff Sluman and Mark Calcavecchia.
This rounds off a field that has won a total of 16 Majors, a combined 349 victories worldwide, and a further 69 victories on the Champions Tour and European Senior Tour.
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.
The tournament dates back to 1981 when the Sun City challenge was staged at the Gary Player designed course and Nedbank has been involved since inception, sponsoring the 14th hole. Nedbank's investment and sponsorship grew steadily culminating in the bank taking on the title sponsorship in 1996.
It was known as "The Million Dollar Challenge" in the early years. When it was first played in 1981 the purse was US$ 1 million, with a winner's share of $300,000. In 1987 the event was played on a "winner takes all" basis, with the winner claiming the whole of the million-dollar purse. This was designed to overcome any qualms the world's top golfers might have about competing in South Africa during the apartheid era, and it was successful in doing this in many cases. In 1988 the winner's prize was again $1million, but additional prizes were introduced.
From 2000 to 2002 the first prize was US$2 million, from 2003 the winner's share of the total prize fund was reduced from more than half to around 30%. The standard winner's share on the PGA Tour is 18% and on the European Tour it is 16.67%. In 2006 the winner received $1.2 million out of a total purse of $4.385 million, so the prize distribution is now not far from the normal pattern for a professional tournament.
The total purse was increased in 2010 to US$ 5,000,000 with the winner receiving US$1,250,000
Nedbank Golf Challenge
Nedbank Champions Challenge
2011 – Lee Westwood ENG
2010 – Lee Westwood ENG
2009 – Robert Allenby AUS
2008 - Henrik Stenson SWE
2007 - Trevor Immelman RSA
2006 - Jim Furyk USA
2005 - Jim Furyk USA
2004 - Retief Goosen RSA
2003 - Sergio García ESP
2002 - Ernie Els RSA
2001 - Sergio García ESP
2000 - Ernie Els RSA
1999 - Ernie Els RSA
1998 - Nick Price ZIM
1997 - Nick Price ZIM
1996 - Colin Montgomerie SCO
1995 - Corey Pavin USA
1994 - Nick Faldo ENG
1993 - Nick Price ZIM
1992 - David Frost RSA
1991 - Bernhard Langer GER
1990 - David Frost RSA
1989 - David Frost RSA
1988 - Fulton Allem RSA
1987 - Ian Woosnam WAL
1986 - Mark McNulty ZIM
1985 - Bernhard Langer GER
1984 - Seve Ballesteros ESP
1983 - Seve Ballesteros ESP
1982 - Raymond Floyd USA
1981 - Johnny Miller USA
2011 - Mark Calcavecchia
2010 - Jeff Sluman
The event is televised live for four days and has a viewership of close to 1.4 billion worldwide. The tournament is broadcasted to over 200 countries with the first ever broadcast in HD in 2010.
Winner of the South African Tour Order of Merit
Ten places as per the Official World Rankings after the US PGA starting from number one.
The Sports Trust Challenge
Nedbank and Sun International host The Sports Trust Challenge each year, the day after the final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Corporates pay to enter a four-ball, and play the Gary Player course in the same layout as the previous day's Nedbank Golf Challenge last round. Over R1m is raised for The Sports Trust each year to assist them in supporting sport development in South Africa. Both Nedbank and Sun International are founding trustees of The Sports Trust.