Tim Clark joins SA con­tin­gent for Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - GOLF RE­PORTER

TIM CLARK will make his fifth ap­pear­ance at the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge at the Gary Player Coun­try Club from De­cem­ber 4-7, and at the end of a year where he has been ar­guably South Africa’s top per­former on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

With his vic­tory in the RBC Cana­dian Open, the un­der­stated Clark is the only South African to have won on the PGA Tour this year, and has been one of the shin­ing lights in a largely quiet 2014 for South Africa’s lead­ing pro­fes­sion­als. Clark also re­cently lost a play­off to Masters cham­pion Bubba Wat­son for the World Golf Cham­pi­onships HSBC Cham­pi­ons in China.

Those have been the stand­out per­for­mances in a year which Clark ad­mits he didn’t have high ex­pec­ta­tions for fol­low­ing a dif­fi­cult 2013 where he strug­gled with an el­bow in­jury.

“To have won means a lot. I hadn’t had the great­est of years start­ing from Jan­uary. I played good in the fall last year, but this year as a cal­en­dar year wasn’t the best for me, to start with. To turn it around like I have means a lot,” said Clark.

The Umko­maas pro­fes­sional is cur­rently the third South African to con­firm his place in the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge field, join­ing Charl Schwartzel and Dawie van der Walt.

And Clark re­turns to Sun City with a rapidly im­prov­ing record in “Africa’s Ma­jor”. He has fin­ished 12th, sixth, third and sec­ond in his pre­vi­ous four ap­pear­ances in the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge.

His last ap­pear­ance was in 2010 when he fin­ished run­ner-up to Lee West­wood, who won by eight shots that year.

That was also the year Clark made his break­through on the PGA Tour with his first vic­tory there, in the Play­ers Cham­pi­onship.

And the South African ad­mits he will re­turn to the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge a dif­fer­ent player in many re­spects to the one South Africans last saw in 2010.

“A lot has hap­pened since then. I’ve had surgery, and on the good side I’ve had two kids. My life has changed a lot.”

Clark heads back to Sun City seek­ing his first vic­tory on African soil since win­ning the 2002 South African Open, and the Sun­shine Tour Or­der of Merit that year.

With the Euro­pean Tour’s Race to Dubai now com­plete, the re­main­der of the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge field will be con­firmed this week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.