Big Easy Headlines in South Africa


European TourThe European Tour travels from Hong Kong to South Africa for this week's Dunhill Championship, the third event on the 2005 European Tour schedule and last before the end of the year.
And who better to have headlining the field than world No. 3 Ernie Els, fresh off his third-place finish at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.
Co-sanctioned by both the European Tour and the Sunshine Tour, the tournament marks the start of the Big Easy's quest for his third straight Order of Merit money title. Els almost doubled runner-up Retief Goosen's total in the 2004 campaign.
Goosen, unfortunately for the hometown fans, will not be teeing it up in his home country as he tends to a daughter who recently fell ill. Goosen himself has also been under the weather for several weeks.
Els, who has seven tour titles over the past two seasons, will be facing defending champion Marcel Siem, who won the title last year in a playoff over Raphael Jacquelin.
For the first time in the event's history, the tournament will be played at the Gary Player-designed Leopard Creek Golf Course in Mpumalanga, a spectacular course rated second best in the country and adjacent to Kruger National Park.
The Dunhill Championship has proved to be a launching pad for some of the European Tour's brightest stars in recent years as seen by Australian Adam Scott's victory in 2001, followed by Englands Justin Rose in 2002. South Africas own Trevor Immelman just missed out on the title in 2003 after coming up short in a six-man playoff.
The purse for the event is $970,000 with $161,000 going to the winner.
The European Tour will resume its 2005 schedule January 20th at the South African Airways Open.
Related links:
  • TGC Airtimes

  • Full Coverage - Dunhill Championship