JOHANNESBURG – Top-ranked Luke Donald and No. 2 Lee Westwood head the field for the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa.
Organizers announced Thursday the two top-ranked English golfers would play the Dec. 1-4 event, which also features four major winners in its 12-man field.
Jason Dufner is the only American in an event which has come under increasing pressure from a busy year-end calendar and now goes up against Tiger Woods’ Chevron Challenge during the first weekend of December.
Westwood will defend the title he won in 2010 when he was ranked No. 1, and Germany’s Kaymer is also a former top-ranked player.
Dufner – who finished second to Keegan Bradley at the PGA Championship – McDowell, Kaymer and Dyson will play the Nedbank for the first time.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic (with the field). The reasons are obvious as we have the world No. 1 and No. 2,” said tournament director Alastair Roper.
However, the 31-year-old event at the Sun City casino resort in northern South Africa is being squeezed out by a number of big-money end-of-season events.
In 2011, Sun City coincides with the Chevron and the Hong Kong Open, and is flanked by the World Cup event at Mission Hills, China the weekend before and the European Tour’s Race to Dubai finale a week after. Next year, Sun City could be challenged by a WGC event in South Africa, which could also be scheduled over the same weekend.
Roper said this year’s Nov. 17-20 Presidents Cup in Australia had also made it more difficult for the Nedbank to secure top U.S. players, who would want to travel back home after the team event.