Goosen Els Headline in South Africa


Ernie Els and Retief Goosen will be the headline attractions alongside defending champion Trevor Immelman at the Vodacom Players Championship which gets under way at the Royal Cape Golf Club on Thursday.

Rory Sabbatini, who was born in South Africa, is also making his professional debut in an official event on the Sunshine Tour.
Having made his home in Arizona at the end of a successful amateur golf career at college, Sabbatini plays full time on the PGA Tour. He won the Air Canada title in 2000 and finished 52nd on the 2001 PGA Tour money list.
The recent Cabs/Old Mutual Zimbabwe Open winner, Darren Fichardt, will also star in the line-up at Royal Cape. Fichardt won two events this year - the Tour Championship on the Sunshine Tour in February and the Sao Paulo Brazil Open on the European Tour in March.
Els and Goosen both played in last week's Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City. Els, the event's two-time defending champion, led through three rounds, but lost to Sergio Garcia in a playoff.
Goosen finished tied for eighth in the 12-man field. He's been globe-trotting since concluding a very successful 2001 campaign.
The Order of Merit (money title)winner played in Jerez, Spain, for the European Tour's season-ending Volvo Masters in early November.
He then joined Els in winning the EMC World Cup in Gotemba, Japan, before making the trip that following Monday to Hawaii for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
Following his final-round 71 in Sun City, Goosen announced he would play this week, but skip next week's Williams World Challenge in California.
'I am really tired and have had to withdraw from Tiger's tournament so that I can take a two- or three-week holiday somewhere away from cameras and autograph books. Maybe I'll go skiing or fishing,' Goosen said.