Welcome to the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge

by Keith Pelley, Chief Executive European Tour

Keith Pelley

What's changed for the 39th edition of Africa's Major?
Keith: One of the most significant changes for 2019 is the increase to the first-place prize money, which now stands at US$2.5million, and the associated increase in Race to Dubai Rankings points on offer to the winner too, up to 10,000 from 7,500 last year. These changes provide a tremendous incentive for our players.

Tell us your fondest Nedbank Golf Challenge memory?
Keith: Without question, sitting with the great Gary Player beside the 18th green last year and watching all the groups come through with him. His knowledge of the game and of the players in front of him, in addition to the many great stories of his wonderful career, gave me an afternoon I will long remember.

How many balls have you lost on the Gary Player Country Club golf course?
Keith: My one regret in relation to the Nedbank Golf Challenge is that I haven't as yet had the opportunity to play the Gary Player Country Club course. Hopefully I will get the chance to put that right this year.

What is the best story Gary Player has told you on the first tee?
Keith: It wasn't on the first tee; it was actually when we played a two-ball together earlier this summer on the Edinburgh Course at Wentworth. As he designed the course, he walked me through hole-by-hole the reason and logic behind the layout for each one – it was absolutely fascinating. In addition to that, a wonderful moment happened when we reached the 10th tee shortly after a break at the Halfway House. When I reached the tee I looked around and Gary was some 50 yards behind me doing yoga stretching getting ready for the back nine! I couldn't believe it but it worked a treat as he shot 74, beating his age by almost 10 shots!

What is most unique about this tournament?
Keith: The Nedbank Golf Challenge has a tremendous look and feel about it. The hospitality offering on the 18th green is superb and the first tee experience is as good as anything in golf. The Public Hospitality Village area is fun for all the family and is a true celebration of this great game of ours. You will hear me say on many occasions that the Nedbank Golf Challenge is one of the best presented events of the year.