‘I am go­ing there to win’

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artin Kaymer will tar­get a sec­ond vic­tory at the Gary Play­er­hosted Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge when he re­turns to Sun City for the penul­ti­mate tour­na­ment of the Euro­pean Tour’s Fi­nal Se­ries, which starts on Thurs­day.

The for­mer world num­ber one claimed his only vic­tory of the 2012 sea­son at what is dubbed “Africa’s Ma­jor” af­ter mem­o­rably hol­ing the win­ning putt at the Ry­der Cup in Me­d­i­nah ear­lier that year.

The Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge joined the Euro­pean Tour sched­ule in 2014 and, for the first time this week, it will be the fi­nal event be­fore the Race to Dubai’s fi­nale, the DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship in Dubai.

The event will wel­come 72 of the world’s best play­ers to con­test a $7 mil­lion (R94.9 mil­lion) prize fund as the bat­tle to be crowned the Euro­pean Tour’s num­ber one player reaches its cli­max.

The Ger­man and fel­low ma­jor win­ner Pádraig Har­ring­ton have been con­firmed as the lat­est global stars to join the star-stud­ded field.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to re­turn­ing to the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge,” said Kaymer, who could move into the top 10 of the Race to Dubai with a strong re­sult in South Africa, and be in the run­ning for the $5 mil­lion bonus pool.

“Of course, I have some great mem­o­ries of this tour­na­ment, and it’s al­ways nice to go back to an event that you have won in the past. This has al­ways been a huge event, but I’m sure it will have even more of a big tour­na­ment feel next week as part of the Fi­nal Se­ries.

“The course is al­ways in per­fect con­di­tion and Sun City is such a fun place. It’s al­ways a week the play­ers re­ally en­joy. I am go­ing there to win and I feel like my game is in good shape now to go and do that.”

Har­ring­ton, mean­while, is fly­ing high af­ter his first Euro­pean Tour vic­tory in eight years at the Portugal Mas­ters.

And he is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to re­turn to Sun City, where he will join a raft of fel­low ma­jor win­ners, in­clud­ing South Africa’s Retief Goosen.

“Sun City will be my 400th event on the Euro­pean Tour, and I’m sure it will be an en­joy­able week,” said the Ir­ish­man.

“Hope­fully, I can push on and make a charge up the Race to Dubai rank­ings. I wasn’t sur­prised by my vic­tory in Portugal as I felt good things were com­ing my way.

“In my head I was ready to win, and to have a win­ning sea­son is a big pos­i­tive for me.”

Among those al­ready an­nounced for the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge are Open Cham­pion win­ner Hen­rik Sten­son and his Euro­pean team-mates from the 2016 Ry­der Cup, Rafa Cabr­era Bello, Thomas Pi­eters, Andy Sul­li­van, Danny Willett and Chris Wood.

The South African chal­lenge is also a strong one, and in­cludes Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen, Ge­orge Coet­zee, Bran­den Grace, and the coun­try’s Olympic duo of Jaco van Zyl and Bran­don Stone.

Me­dia

Vlis­mas – Michael

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

THE RE­TURN Martin Kaymer of Ger­many will be back in South Africa next week to make a bid for his sec­ond Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge ti­tle

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