Wednesday 21 February 2018

Harrington to play at Sun City

Padraig Harrington. Photo: Getty Images
Padraig Harrington. Photo: Getty Images

Padraig Harrington is one of five European Ryder Cup-winning players that will take part in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa during early December.

The three-time major winner is joined by Englishmen Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher as well as Italy's Edoardo Molinari and Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez in the invited 12-man field.

"Lee has made no secret of the fact that he loves competing in Sun City, and his acceptance of our invitation was most pleasing," tournament director Alastair Roper said.

"He has made a lot of friends in South Africa and his performances over the last two seasons would suggest that he is ready to take revenge for his defeat in the play-off against Ernie (Els) 10 years ago."

The tournament which is played annually at Sun City in the North West province, is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010.

Also amongst the participants will be three-time winner Els, another three-time major champion, along with fellow South Africans Tim Clark, Retief Goosen and Louis Oosthuizen, who won the The Open Championship at St Andrews earlier this year.

Last year's winner Robert Allenby from Australia will also be playing at the Gary Player Country Club, while England's Justin Rose and Dane Anders Hansen complete the line-up.

Roper continued: "We can never hope to make accurate predictions, but judging by the form shown by our invitees this year it is fair to assume that we can look forward to a thrilling contest.

"We were always hopeful that we could secure the participation of the very best players for what is a very special tournament, and I am pleased to say that we have achieved this."

There is also no American in the field and Roper added: "We obviously base our selection criteria on world rankings and performances in the major championships when we issue our invitations.

"Our aim is to secure the participation of the 12 top-ranked players in the world, but that is unrealistic," says Roper.

"Tiger Woods hosts the Chevron World Challenge which is scheduled for the same week, and this puts us in a difficult position."

Press Association

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