Westwood seeking Sun City history; Els declines invite


Looking to become the first player to win the event in three consecutive years, Lee Westwood highlights a 12-man field at next month's Nedbank Challenge.

'Defending champion Lee Westwood has become one of the greatest players in the history of this tournament, and he now has a chance to make history at Sun City this year,' said tournament director Alastair Roper.

Contested Nov. 29-Dec. 2, the event will have a very familiar feel for Ryder Cup fans. Alongside Westwood a month ago at Medinah, fellow European team members Martin Kaymer, Peter Hanson, Justin Rose, Paul Lawrie, Francesco Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts will all join him in the field in Sun City, Africa.

The FedEx Cup champion a year ago, Bill Haas will be the lone American representative in the field. He will be joined by Carl Petterson, Garth Mulroy and a pair of South African major winners - 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.

Another South African major winner will be notably absent from the field next month, as reigning British Open champion Ernie Els declined an invitation to participate. Els, who won this event three times in a four year stretch from 1999-2002, has two children in school in the U.S. and will instead opt to spend more time with his family.

'This time of year is a bit difficult (for Els),' explained Roper. 'We respect his decision and we hope to see him back (in the tournament) again.'