Day 4 - Louis follows Martin into the lead

Posted on: 01 Dec 2012

report by Ursula Brown, Managing Editor and photography by Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor Cape Info SA (assisted by Xylan de Jager).

Martin Kaymer recovered from an early bogey to fire a third-round score of 70 on Saturday and will carry a one stroke lead into final round of Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club.

The German found trouble at the par-four third hole, and in the end did well to salvage a bogey as he slipped back to two-under for the tournament. But his display from that point onward was polished, as he made no further bogeys and finished the day on five-under courtesy of three birdies. “It was a little bit more difficult than yesterday I guess, especially the first few holes,” he said after his round. “I think a big putt for me was on the 12th – I hit a putt from 10 feet downhill and right-to-left to save par and that gave me the motivation to keep playing well.

“I just played very solid – I hit a lot of fairways again and hit a lot of good putts. I also had a lot of lip-outs, so it could have been a little bit better, but two-under par is a very acceptable round.”

Much has been documented about the resurgence of Martin Kaymer in the latter half of 2012, and, although one always felt his return to form was inevitable, it came from a lot of hard work. A “slump” is often a relative term, but in the case of Kaymer, the degree of his dip in form during 2012 is given context by the measure of his success in the years prior.

The German turned pro in 2005, and cut his teeth on the Challenge Tour for two years after that. He joined the main tour on a full-time basis in 2007, and finished a very creditable 41st in the Race to Dubai standings that year.

Things were to get better and better for the man from Dusseldorf, as he finished eighth and third in the Race to Dubai for 2008 and 2024. His biggest year, however, was 2010, as he wrapped up the standings, represented Europe in their Ryder Cup win at Celtic Manor, clinched his first major title when he won the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and reached number one in the world rankings.

The local crowds will be salivating at the prospect of a South African winner though, as Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel head into day four at four and three-under respectively. Oosthuizen was particularly impressive on the day, as he amassed five birdies en route to score of 69, and will be paired with Kaymer in the final round.

2012 Leaderboard - End of play Day three
1 Martin Kaymer
2 Louis Oosthuizen
3 Charl Schwartzel
T4 Bill Haas
T4 Lee Westwood
6 Paul Lawrie
7 Peter Hanson
T8 Francesco Molinari
T8 Carl Pettersson
T8 Justin Rose
11 Nicolas Colsaerts
12 Garth Mulroy

Pic 1: Louis fans in full support 
Pic 2: Kaymer starts Day 4 in front
Pic 3: Lee Westward biting the dust
Pic 4: Carl Pettersen - shot of the day - day three

Langer is KING of Champions

Posted on: 01 Dec 2012

report by Ursula Brown, Managing Editor and photography by Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor Cape Info SA (assisted by Xylan de Jager).

Bernhard Langer won the Nedbank Champions Challenge seniors tournament by two strokes Saturday despite closing with a 2-over 74. 

The German had a three-round total of 7-under 209. He dropped shots at Nos. 5, 7, 13 and 17 but had enough of an advantage going into the round to win.

Jay Haas was the runner-up. He had two bogeys and two birdies on the front nine and pars on all of the back nine. Son Bill Haas was contending in the main Nedbank Challenge event midway through his third round.

Ian Woosnam was third in the seniors after a 72. Mark Calcavecchia dropped to seventh place out of eight after finishing with a 13-over 85 marked by two triple-bogeys.

Pic 1 : The Prize
Pic 2 : Langer wins Nedbank Champions Challenge

Champions and Challengers tee off at Sun City

Posted on: 30 Nov 2012
report by Ursula Brown Managing Editor with photographs by Patrick Allen National Photographic Editor Cape Info SA (assisted by Xylan de Jager).

ANY THEY'RE OFF........ with rookies, Haas and Colsaerts running away from the pack. 

Tight fairways, howling winds and the now infamously treacherous rough kept players on their toes (clubs in hand) at the Gary Player Country Club on day one of Nedbank Golf Challenge, Thurs 29 Nov 2012.  Bill Haas (USA) and Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium) claimed a share of the first-round lead with two-under rounds of 70 apiece.

A significant breeze and a tough layout ensured that none of the players were able to escape the chasing pack, and 10 of the 12 players in the field finished the first day within two strokes of each other. Haas, who had reached four-under by the 15th, surrendered two bogeys to the course on the 16th and 18th holes, but was still pleased to finish where he did.

Colsaerts was playing behind the American, and put together a controlled round. He reached the turn at even par after a birdie and a bogey on the front nine, and appeared set for a birdie blitz after making consecutive birdies at 10th and 11th holes. However, he could only manage to par his way home, and missed a putt from inside six feet for birdie on the final hole. 

Local hero Louis Oosthuizen at one stage slipped to two-over for his round, but produced three birdies coming home without any further blemishes to finish on a respectable score of 71 and closed the day out in a three-way tie for third with Paul Lawrie and Lee Westwood (defending champion). 

Both Lee and fellow country-man Justin Rose struggled with Rose only posting a score of 73. It was only South African Garth Mulroy who was cut adrift somewhat on day one as he shot a disappointing round of 75.

Meanwhile, in the concurrently-run Nedbank Champions Challenge, Bernhard Langer stormed to a three-shot first round lead after posting a bogey-free round of 68. The German played with Sandy Lyle in the first pairing of the day, and looked untroubled as he cruised round the challenging Pilanesburg course.

America’s Mark Calcavecchia had been hot on the 55 year-old’s heels all day, but a double-bogey at the 18th hole meant the 1989 Open Champion had to settle for an opening round of 71 to finish the day in second place with countryman Jay Haas.

Pic 1 : 32rd Nedbank Golf Challenge
Pic 2 : Louis Oosthuizen - leads the South African charge at the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Pic 3 : Martin Kramer is back!
Pic 4 : Francesco Molinari ready to roll (the ball that is.....)

Sun City presents Golfing Superstars

Posted on: 30 Nov 2012
report by Ursula Brown Managing Editor and Photos by Patrick Allen National Photographic Editor Cape Info SA (assisted by Xylan de Jager)

Langer produces Sun City masterclass

While 12 of the finest professional golfers in the main event of Nedbank Golf Challenge toiled in the opening round, veteran Bernhard Langer showed them how it’s done as he carded a magnificent bogey-free round of 68 to open up a three-stroke lead in the Nedbank Champions Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club on Thurs 29 Nov 2012.

Langer began his round with a fantastic approach to the first hole, and although he was unable to make the putt for birdie, he rectified things with a solid four on the par-five second. He went on to record birdies at the seventh and ninth holes to turn at a commanding three-under par. He then sailed around the back nine as his eight pars were well complemented by a birdie at the par-five 14th hole, and the German was understandably pleased with his efforts, although felt he could have done more.

Nedbank Champions Challenge has attracted eight of the finest players the game has ever seen, but Langer today proved that the twilight of his career is yet to come. He still works as hard as he ever has on his game, and his performances in 2012 on the Champions Tour have been exemplary.

The 55 year-old led the money list courtesy of two wins and a staggering 17 top-10 finishes, and although he came second in the Charles Schwab Cup to Tom Lehman, Langer has enjoyed one of his finest seasons to date, and it comes as no surprise that he leads the way in the event.

Langer, who began wielding the broomstick after developing the yips in the mid-1990’s, posted the best score of all 20 golfers at Sun City on day-one, and will be determined to fend off the challenge of Mark Calcavecchia and Jay Haas, who lie three strokes adrift of the German with rounds of 71 each.

Nedbank Seniors Challenge players : Tom Watson, Ian Woosnam, Bernhard Langer, Mark Calcavecchia, Sandy Lyle, Jay Haas, Fred Funk and Jeff Sluman, for a purse of $880,000. 

Pic 1 : Bernard Langer in action last year
Pic 2 : Jeff Sluman takes the trophy in 2011

Mark Calcaveccia is King!

NGC Seniors Challenge 2011 Winner

Posted on: 04 Dec 2011

by Ursula Brown, Managing Editor and Patrick Allen National Photographic Editor Cape Info SA

Mark Calcaveccia wins Seniors Challenge 2011 at Sun City (Sat 3 Dec 2011).

Yesterday has been and gone with Mark Calcaveccia crowned King of Nedbank Senior Challenge 2011 at Sun City.

Sitting at 18th on day three, somehow a poem came to mind " Perched on my city office stool... I watched with envy while a cool and lucker carter handled ice..."

I think it must be the HEAT!! due partially to a short but saturating surprising unexpected cloud burst, resulting in players and spectators momentarily taking cover back at base. Spotted Gary Player in the house (on grandstand) just before Senior Challenge 2011 prize-giving.

Day Three began with Bernard Langer (-8) in the lead for Seniors and Robert Karlsson (-9) for NGC 2011.

Nedbank Senior Challenge 2011 - Final Leaderboard

Mark Calcavecchia -9 :   Prize Money $250 000
Bernhard Langer -8    :   Prize Money $130 000
Ian Woosnam -8         :   Prize Money $100 000
David Frost -3              :   Prize Money $90 000
Nick Price -3                :   Prize Money $85 000
Tom Lehman +2         :   Prize Money $80 000
Jeff Sluman +2            :   Prize Money $75 000
Mark O`Meara +5        :   Prize Money $70 000

As the  day progressed, it was clear that Lee Westwood, defending 2010 champion, knew precisely what he was planning, and that was to runaway from the field. Lee's score of 16 under at close of play on day three, tells its own story.

2011 NGC 2011 - End Day Three Leaderboard

Lee Westwood -16 
Robert Karlsson -9 
Graeme McDowell -9 
Jason Dufner -8
Martin Kaymer -8 
Kim Kyung-Tae -6 
Charl Schwartzel -6 
Luke Donald -5 
Simon Dyson -1 
Anders Hansen +2 
Darren Clarke +3
Francesco Molinari +6

Photos by Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor, Cape Info SA

Photo 1 : Mark Calcaveccia crowned King of the Senior Challenge 2011 at Sun City
Photo 2 : Nedbank Senior Challenge 2011 Players - Ian Woosnam, Mark O'Meara, Mark Calcaveccia (Winner 2011), Tom Lehman, Bernhard Langer, Jeff Sluman (Winner 2010), Nick Price.
Photo 3 : The Rain in Main falls plainly on the Game....!!
Photo 4 : Charl Schwartzel and his Caddy on the move on Day three.

Senior Player Profile 2011 - MARK CALCAVECCHIA

Soon after Mark Calcavecchia moved with his family from the cold plains of Nebraska
to Florida, the then teenager made his mark by winning the State High School Golf Championship and was an obvious candidate for an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida. He had become a fanatical golfer, at times during the summer months playing as many as 72 holes a day. It was while attending high school that ‘Calk’ became friendly with Jack Nicklaus’ son Jackie, and since then he and the 18-time major champion have been close friends.

Calcavecchia turned professional in 1981, and joined the PGA Tour a year later, but he failed to register any victories until 1985. This victory kick-started a purple patch which extended into the late 1980s and included the most important win of his career – a victory in the 1989 British Open after a playoff with Greg Norman and Wayne Grady. This was not totally unexpected, as the year before he had finished as runner-up in the US Masters to Sandy Lyle.

Between the years 1988 and 1991 he spent 109 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World rankings, and is one of many players who remained competitive on the PGA Tour until joining the Champions Tour, and as recently as 2024 he set a new record on the PGA Tour. During the second round of the Canadian Open, he birdied nine consecutive holes, again not surprising, because this player has a long history of shooting very low scores. With a total of 26 professional wins (half of these on the PGA Tour, his last coming in the 2007 PODS Championship), he continued to play on the regular Tour – clearly keeping himself competitive until he qualified for the Champions Tour.

When ‘Calk’ joined the over-50 Tour last season, he was expected to win but could only manage one second and a single third place. These performances, together with other high finishes, earned him almost $900 000, and while victory has again eluded him this season, he has again won almost a million Dollars thus far.

In the British Senior Open he led or tied for the lead after the first, second and third rounds, and only a diabolical four-putt saw his challenge fade on the last day. Only a week after his disappointment at Walton Heath he posted four sub-70 rounds to finish in third place in the US Senior Open. In the first of the season’s senior majors he again led at the halfway stage and after the third round, but fell out of contention with a final round of 3-over par finishing tied for fifth.

In The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, Calcavecchia opened with a 69, and it looked as though he may turn back the clock and challenge for his second major, but after a disastrous second round 79 he missed the cut.

Calcavecchia’s father was a bowling centre proprietor, and both he and his wife Brenda love the game. He actually has two bowling lanes in his home, and has an impressive average of 205. This four-time Ryder Cup player, who has also represented his country in two Dunhill Cups and the President’s Cup, is the only player without a victory on the over-50s Tour but he could well rectify that at the Gary Player Country Club in December.

Jason Dufner vs Line Marshall at NGC 2011


Posted on: 03 Dec 2011


by Ursula Brown, Managing Editor and Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor, Cape Info SA

Strolling, stretching, crouching, pointing, walking, and even getting perpendicular with Mother Earth, seemed to be all in a days work on day two NGC.

Crowds were out in force, and so it seems, local wild life (dangerous cobra on the 8th) and bird-life.

Keeping an eye on the ball or wind-direction and hot air, took on a whole new meaning on day two of NGC.

Golf fans followed their favourite in the searing sun, with plenty of sun-block and bottled water on hand.

Keep your eye Cape Info SA as we keep you updated and up to speed.

Photos by Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor, Cape Info SA
• Photo 1 : Jason Dufner (USA) vs Line Marshall!
• Photo 2 : Down Under at NGC - what we dont do for the SHOT!!
• Photo 3 : Two heads ARE ALWAYS better than one - Luke Donald and his Caddy!
• Photo 4 : Charl Schwartzel stays focussed on day two.

Charl Schwartzel joint day one leader NGC

Charl Schwartzel challenges 2010 winner Lee Westwood!

Posted on: 03 Dec 2011

by Ursula Brown Managing Editor, and Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor, Cape Info SA, reporting live from Nedbank Golf Challenge, Sun City

South Africa vs UK on Day One at the Challenge.

First up on day one, Mark O'Meara (USA) and David Frost (RSA) (Seniors) opened NGC at 10h20am whilst Ian Woosnam (WALES) and Jeff Sluman  (USA) (last year's winner) brought up the rear for the seasoned Seniors at 10h56.

Robert Karlsson (SWEDEN) and Simon Dyson (ENGLAND) each took up their proverbial clubs and opened the bidding for the 31st Nedbank Golf Challenge at 11h10, with Jason Dufner (USA) and Lee Westwood (ENGLAND) final players to tee-off on day one.

Day One started off sunny and warm with traditional Sun City NGC rain-clouds hovering in the distance. Ten teams of two, teed off smoothly and smartly, with an occasional player mishap along the way....

Charl Schwartzel (the one and only SA flag bearer) was on top form from tee off to final stroke, but, last years winner, Lee Westwood, was right behind him, when he hit a birdie on the 18th and finished in dramatic style

Both Schwartzel and Westwood ended day one on 4 under Par, with Robert Karlsson one shot behind.

Even the rainy lunchtime interlude did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of players and spectators alike. Umbrellas to the rescue, excellent Sun City vittles kept the tempo and momentum going.

Both world number 1 (Luke Donald) and number 2, Lee Westwood, PLUS both winners of 2010 events - Lee Westwood and Jeff Sluman, made for excitement all round.

The Seniors showed their fans why they are here today competing for the trophy and a little change to boot. On day one, David Frost (RSA), Bernhard Langer (GERMANY), Nick Price (ZIM) and Ian Woosnam (N.IRE) sailed home three under par. 

Lets see what tomorrow brings.... excitement, drama, balls flying and hopefully landing just where they should!!

Photos : Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor, Cape Info SA
Photo 1 : Charl Schwartzel, our BOYKIE, finished joint day one leader with last years winner Lee Westwood.
• Photo 2 : Lee Westwood - NGC Winner 2010 - back to defend his title
• Photo 3 : Bernard Langer - Previous NGC winner,14 appearances at Sun City and 84 career titles, doesnt miss a beat, and definitely makes no mistake here at tee off!!
• Photo 4 : Jason Dufner - First Appearance at NGC - Supports world Aid day ....... and golf....

Concentration - Determination - Robert Karlsson


Posted on: 03 Dec 2011

by Ursula Brown, Managing Editor and Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor, Cape Info SA


Day Two and its full steam ahead - creme de la creme - golfers showcasing talents on premier African golf course....

The BOYKIE, Charl Schwartzel, hit a few speed wobbles yesterday, losing his day one grip slightly.

Robert Karlsson (Sweden), Martin Kaymer (Germany), Jason Dufner (USA) and Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland) at the top of the leader board on day two.

It seems there is no stopping Bernard "Sun King" Langer (Germany) leading the charge of seniors tournament on day two, where he stayed, at the top of the leader board from start to finish, with Ian Woosnam (from Wales) on shot behind.

Seniors Tournament ends today, and with both Langer and Woosnam in a battle to be the first player to win both the regular and seniors tournaments.

Photos by Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor, Cape Info SA

• Photo 1 : Concentration - determination - Robert Karlsson
• Photo 2 : Getting down to Ball Business......!
• Photo 3 : Simon Dyson (England).... first time visitor NGC
• Photo 4 : Bernard "Sun King" Langer running away from the pack

The Winner - 2010 - Lee Westwood

Molinari replaces injured Bjorn at Nedbank Golf Challenge

Posted on: 30 Nov 2011

by Ursula Brown, Managing Editor, Cape Info SA

Molinari replaces injured Bjorn

Denmark’s Thomas Bjørn has had to withdrawn from Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City because of a neck injury. His place in the elite 12-man field will be taken by Italy’s Francesco Molinari.

Bjørn suffered a recurrence of the old injury that also forced him to withdraw from the World Cup of Golf at Mission Hills in China. Francesco and his brother Edoardo are currently representing Italy at the World Cup of Golf.

“We are very disappointed that Thomas will not be joining us at Sun City at the end of one of the best seasons of his career,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

“Thomas has also conveyed to us how disappointed he is and how much he was looking forward to playing in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, but we completely understand and hope that he recovers soon.”

Molinari, a member of the 2010 European Ryder Cup team who is currently ranked 39th in the world and 23rd on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, will make his debut in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

“Francesco is a wonderful player who will definitely bring something special to the Nedbank Golf Challenge,” said Roper. “His brother Edoardo made his debut at Sun City last year, so I’m sure Francesco will be looking forward to it as well.”

2011 Nedbank Golf Challenge Field:
Luke Donald (England) 
Lee Westwood (England)
Martin Kaymer (Germany)
Charl Schwartzel (South Africa)
Graeme McDowell (Northern Ireland)
Kim Kyung-Tae (South Korea)
Robert Karlsson (Sweden)
Simon Dyson (England)
Francesco Molinari (Italy)
Anders Hansen (Denmark)
Jason Dufner (United States)
Darren Clarke (Northern Ireland)

2011 Nedbank Senior Challenge Field
Jeff Sluman (USA)
Mark Calcavecchia (USA)
Nick Price (Zimbabwe)
Tom Lehman (USA)
David Frost (South Africa)
Mark O’Meara (USA)
Bernhard Langer (Germany)
Ian Woosnam (Wales)

Photos Nedbank Golf Challenge 2010
by Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor, Cape Info SA

Photo 1 : The Winner - NGC 2010 - Lee Westwood (USA)
Photo 2 : Francesco Molinari on course, joins the line-up for NGC 2011
Photo 3 : The MAIN Man - NGC Seniors 2010 - Jeff Sluman (USA)


Posted on: 17 Oct 2011

by Ursula Brown, Managing Editor, Cape Info SA

Nedbank Senior Golf Challenge, played last year as part of the 30th year celebrations of the event, will again be played at the Gary Player Country Club as part of South Africa’s glittering showcase of golf. “The response from spectators and sponsors, not to mention the players themselves, was so positive that we have decided to host this event again this year,” says Tournament Director of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, Alastair Roper.

It was unanimously decided by everyone at the tournament that the 30th “Nedbank” was the best ever – the add-on entertainment included bands playing after the days’ play was a huge success, and added to the carnival-like atmosphere. But it was the addition of the eight-man senior professional field, each player instantly recognizable and all with impressive records on the Tour, that gave the event an added dimension. “It was gratifying to see the interest shown in the senior event – not only by the older generation of spectators but by a lot of juniors – most of whom would never have the opportunity of seeing these icons of the game in action,” says Roper.

 “These experienced players also went out of their way to spend time in the sponsor’s hospitality facilities, and they all showed their appreciation for being involved, and for the financial commitment that had been made by our sponsors.” Both the Champions Tour and the European Tour has shown steady growth in recent times, and notwithstanding the recession that hit the golf market hard in general, the “Golden Oldies” continue to attract large crowds to their events, which continue to be well supported by sponsorships.

Dates confirmed for 2011

Nedbank Golf Challenge 2011 will take place at Sun City from 1 – 4 December 2011. This premier event remains the most popular tournament on the South African golfing calendar, and record numbers of spectators are expected at Sun City to watch the best golfers in the world do battle at the Gary Player Country Club. 
Ticket prices will remain the same as 2010 prices.