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U.S Masters Build up

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THE first major of the year is just around the corner as Augusta prepares to host the annual Masters tournament.
Brit’s Danny Willett is the current holder of the inaugural green jacket after pipping American Jordan Spieth to a heroic win last year.
Brit Danny Willett will be defending his Masters title on  Thursday

But the odds are stacked against him this year as there have only been three back-to-back winners in the tournament’s history in Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods.
Keep up with all the breaking news and action from Augusta with our live blog during Masters week
From Dustin Johnson to Phil Mickelson, here’s all the latest odds and predictions you need ahead of the Masters next Thursday.
Favourites
Dustin Johnson heads into the betting market as favourite with Sun Bets at 5/1 to win the tournament.
The American is right at the top of his game having just won the WGC match play Championship.
He finished tied for fourth last year having been right in contention and looks likely to be right up in the mix once again.
Dustin Johnson has reinvented himself as a blissfully happy family man after a number of personal issues REX FEATURES

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Dustin Johnson heads into the betting as strong favourite

Jordan Spieth always has a bright showing at Augusta and is joint second favourite at 7/1.
He demolished the field in 2015 to become the second-youngest person to win the Masters.
Rory McIlroy will rival Spieth at 7/1 but his form hasn’t been up to his usual high standards recently.

Stenson blazes through NGC back nine

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Henrik Stenson showed his mettle on Friday when he blitzed the back nine of the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City to ease into the halfway lead of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
The 2008 champion had made three consecutive bogeys ahead of the turn, cancelling out his good start of three birdies in the first five holes, but after a two-hour and 10-minute weather delay as an electrical storm raged overhead seemed to charge him up, and he made five birdies on his homeward journey to card a 67 for a one-stroke edge over Jaco van Zyl.
“I just tried to stay patient and get round, and I’ve done that pretty well so far,” said Stenson, who thought he might not even start the tournament because of a bout of flu.
“I’m getting over the virus, but I was more fatigued this morning than I was yesterday just because of playing yesterday. It takes a lot out of you playing in 35 to 40 degrees Celsius when you’re not physically well.
I’m heading in the right direction, but I’m not getting a chance to rest up much. Tomorrow I’ll probably have very heavy legs again, but being in the hunt for a tournament should get me going and hopefully that will kick-start it tomorrow.”
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Van Zyl was always in the lead until Stenson edged clear of him with a birdie on 17, and, playing in the same group as the Swede certainly motivated him. “It felt a little like a duel between me and Henrik,” he said.
“I looked at the leaderboard and I think we were two or three clear of the rest of the field. It’s always good fun, especially if you’re in the same group. You can kind of keep an eye on each other. There’s good reason why he’s No 7 in the world, looking at the putts he made coming in.”
One stroke behind Van Zyl in third on nine-under-par at halfway was American Robert Streb, who had the round of the day with his six-under-par 66 – and that was achieved despite consecutive bogeys on 16 and 17 – and they came after a run of three consecutive birdies.
And in fourth, Australian Marc Leishman carded his second consecutive four-under-par 68 to keep himself very much in contention at the conclusion of what has been a good year for him.
It’s all setting up for a good weekend, and Stenson, for one, is looking forward to it. “It’s a course that suits my game, I’ve always enjoyed playing here and the fans are very appreciative as well,” he said.
“I would’ve felt really bad if I hadn’t been able to play as I’ve had some messages from South Africans saying they’re coming to watch me play. I couldn’t defend the SA Open in 2013 due to my wrist, so it would’ve been hard not to play. It was nice to get some support, even though most of them are supporting Jaco in the final group.”
Van Zyl is up for it too. “It’s always nice playing in front of your home crowd and it makes it even more special being in such a big event. I’m really looking forward to the next two days,” he said.
© Sunshine Tour

Jordan Spieth earns £7.5m with Tour Championship victory

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America’s Jordan Spieth hit a final-round 69 to win the Tour Championship in Atlanta, earning £7.5m by also securing victory in the FedEx Cup.
The 22-year-old finished on nine under to claim a cheque for £977,000 to add to his £6.5m bonus for winning the end-of-season play-off championship.
Spieth has earned more than £14m this season and is the new world number one.
He beat New Zealand’s Danny Lee, England’s Justin Rose and Swede Henrik Stenson by four shots at East Lake.
Englishman Paul Casey was among those a shot further back on four under.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy finished on one over after a final-round 74, while Australia’s Jason Day ended tied 10th on two under.

Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Date:Nov 9–12, 2017
Course: Gary Player Golf Course
Purse:€7,096,897

Tee timesToday
Player Tee time

V. Dubuisson
09:00

D. Frittelli
09:00

G. Storm
09:00

A. Wall
09:00

I. Poulter
09:00

US Masters 2017 Day Three: Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose lead, Adam Scott in contention

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US Masters 2017 Day Three: Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose lead, Adam Scott in contention
US Masters 2017 Day Three: Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose lead, Adam Scott in contention

US MASTERS: We are all set for a mouth-watering final day at Augusta as Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose lead the way, ahead of American young guns Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. Australia’s Adam Scott is right in the hunt, too, just three shots back.
LEADERBOARD: -6 Justin Rose; Sergio Garcia -5 Rickie Fowler -4 Charley Hoffman, Ryan Moore, Jordan Spieth -3 Adam Scott -2 Charl Schwartzel; -1 Lee Westwood, Thomas Pieters; Others: +3 Day; +9 Leishman, Luck (A)

Tee-times for Nedbank Golf Challenge Round 1

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Cape Town – The tee-times for Round 1 of the 2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Players Golf Club at Sun City have been announced.

The first tee time on Thursday for the 30-man field will be at 10:10, while the final three-ball will tee off at 11:49.

10:10 – Marc Leishman (Australia), Søren Kjeldsen (Denmark), Webb Simpson (United States)

10:21 – Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand), Robert Streb (United States), Scott Piercy (United States)

10:32 – Russell Knox (Scotland), Bernd Wiesberger (Austria), Andy Sullivan (England)

10:43 – Tommy Fleetwood (England), Thomas Aiken (South Africa), Martin Kaymer (Germany)

10:54 – Matthew Fitzpatrick (England), Ross Fisher (England), Keegan Bradley (United States)

11:05 – Shane Lowry (Ireland), Lee Westwood (England), Emiliano Grillo (Argentina)

11:16 – Steven Bowditch (Australia), Byeong Hun An (South Korea), Branden Grace (South Africa)

11:27 – Miguel Angel Jiménez (Spain), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand), Chris Wood (England)

11:38 – Jaco van Zyl (South Africa), Victor Dubuisson (France), Charl Schwartzel (South Africa)

11:49 – Henrik Stenson (Sweden), Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa), Danny Willett (England)

Monday Finish: Day joins rotation of golf’s elite

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Jason Day is the best player in the world.
Four weeks ago, Jordan Spieth was the best player in the world.
Four months ago, Rory McIlroy was the best player in the world. Four weeks from now, any of them could be. The top three players in the world rankings are turning golf into a weekly Mad Lib.
“This week _______ proved he’s the only player in the world who can _______.”
And that’s what’s beautiful. This is what the game of golf looks like today, Monday, August 31, 2015.
We’ve seen this coming for the past two years. Even if your Big Three looked a little different, you knew it was where we were headed. We have been told time and again that it’s tougher than ever to win on the PGA TOUR, that Tiger has pushed the next generation of golf to reach new heights. The cream still rises to the top (there’s just more cream) and this generation’s 10 best players was trimmed to five or six. This summer, we’ve seen it trimmed to three.
Since Woods’ dominant five-win campaign in 2013, we’ve seen these three players, Day, Spieth and McIlroy snatch up 14 PGA TOUR victories and five of nine majors. Compared to Tiger’s dominance, what we’re seeing is parity, but it’s not really. If you think the field is equal when any of these three are playing their best golf, you’re kidding yourself (unless your transmission has an extra gear like Dustin Johnson or Bubba Watson).
The best part of all of this is seeing what happens next, which is good news for the FedExCup Playoffs. For the next three events, we’ll see all three, Day, Spieth and McIlroy, in action. Spieth is coming off a missed cut, McIlroy is coming off an injury and Day is coming off a dominating six-shot victory.
The rankings, and the previous sentence, may say one thing, but make no mistake, there are no favorites among golf’s new Big Three. Just fill in your Mad Lib and enjoy.

BREAKING: Sergio Garcia wins Masters 2017 

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BREAKING: Sergio Garcia wins Masters 2017 
BREAKING: Sergio Garcia wins Masters 2017 

Sergio Garcia beat Justin Rose on the 1st play-off hole to clinch TheMasters  after both ended on 9-under at Augusta 

Garcia secured his 1st major title after 73 attempts & joins Jose Maria Olazabal & Seve Ballesteros as the only Spanish winners TheMasters 

Tiger OK if career is over

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NOT A GOOD WEEK FOR NIKE – KOBE AND TIGER

Tiger Woods says he has reconciled himself to his golf career possibly being over and told his children about the mistakes that led to his divorce in an interview with Time magazine.
Woods, a 14-time major champion who has chased the record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, turns 40 on December 30 and is out indefinitely following a third back surgery. He has not won a major title since the 2008 US Open.
“I’ve had a good run,” Woods said. “I’ve done a lot more in the game than I ever thought I could. And to be in my 30s, and to have done this much, I never would have foreseen that.”
In a rare peek into his personal world published online on Thursday, Woods told Time that, “With all my heart, I do not want to stop playing golf.
“It’s not what I want to have happen, and it’s not what I’m planning on having happen. But if it does, it does. I’ve reconciled myself to it.
“It’s more important for me to be with my kids.”
Woods recounted a tale of a nerve twinge after hitting a chip shot that left him crumpled on the ground and unable to move until his daughter, Sam Alexis, found him and went to get help.
Woods had his children, Sam Alexis and son Charlie, with ex-wife Elin Nordegren. They were married from 2004 until 2010, months after his infidelity with multiple mistresses led to divorce.
TIGER SAYS ELIN AMONG ‘BEST FRIENDS’

“It would be having a more open, honest relationship with my ex-wife,” Woods said about what he would change.
“Having the relationship that I have now with her is fantastic. She’s one of my best friends. We’re able to pick up the phone and we talk to each other all the time. We both know that the most important things in our lives are our kids. I wish I would have known that back then.”
Woods has explained the break-up as best he can for now to the children.
“I’ve taken the initiative with the kids and told them up front, ‘Guys, the reason why we’re not in the same house, why we don’t live under the same roof is because Daddy made some mistakes,'” Woods said. “I just want them to understand before they get to Internet age and they log on to something or have their friends tell them something.”
Woods said he enjoyed his relationship with US ski star Lindsey Vonn but her training and competition schedule combined with his time with children and US golf events left little time together, so they broke up last May.
“It’s a relationship that was fantastic, but it just can’t work on that level,” Woods said. “It was doing an injustice to both of us.”
Woods said he would rather not risk more back surgery, having spoken with NFL star quarterback Peyton Manning about his neck surgery and recovery methods.
“That’s a hard mind-set to go through. Because I’ve always been a goal setter,” Woods said.
WOODS ‘CAN’T STAND’ TV GOLF
He won’t watch golf, noting, “I can’t remember the last time I watched golf. I can’t stand it.”
Woods isn’t giving up on getting back to competitive golf levels, however.
“I have to get healthy in order to do it, though,” he said. “I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent healthy, but as close as you can, that would be nice.
“I will probably play through a little bit of pain, aches and pains. But I don’t need another surgery, period. No more surgeries. Seven is enough. Four knees, three backs, that’s enough.”
Asked about his legacy, Woods said, “The greatest thing that could happen is to not be remembered,” saying he already sees kids who attend his learning centres that have no clue he is a golfer.
“Kids go through it and they don’t know who I am. They don’t know what I’ve done.”

Schwartzel makes history with Alfred Dunhill victory

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t took him two days short of two years, and when victory came again for Charl Schwartzel in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club on Sunday, it was fitting that it came at his favourite golf course in the world.
He pieced together a workmanlike two-under-par 70 in the final round, giving him a four-stroke edge over runner-up Gregory Bourdy of France, with two other Frenchmen in third and fourth in Benjamin Hebert and the up-and-coming Sebastien Gros.
‘I was battling a lot of demons out there,’ said Schwartzel after he raised in arms in relief as much as in triumph when he made par on the island green on the 18th of a course where he has won four times and been runner-up on four other occasions – and that’s in 11 starts.
But he spent two years wondering if he was ever going to win again, and those were dark times for the 2011 Masters champion. ‘Sometimes I wasn’t sure it would ever turn around,’ he said. ‘If people realised the amount of work I have put in to the game over the last 18 months, they might understand why it means so much to me.
‘From playing while not seeing how I could ever win again to coming back while still fighting a lot of demons to get it done – I’m pleased to have worked hard and been able to have pulled this off.’
It’s one for the record books, too, in many ways: Schwartzel became the first South African to win the same European Tour tournament four times; he became the latest South African to win 10 European Tour titles after Ernie Els and Retief Goosen; and he now tops the list of South African winners on tournaments co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour and European Tour with seven wins, one more than Els.
‘I felt more comfortable today,’ said Schwartzel. ‘I didn’t play much better, but I chipped and putted well and that’s where scoring lies.’
He reached the turn at one-over for the round, and he was able to get things going on the back nine. ‘I needed to get at least two- or three-under on the two par-fives to give myself a really good chance of winning and I was very pleased to go three-under on the back,’ he said.
He made birdie on 11, and then back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14, and that catapulted him clear of the French pursuers and afforded him a degree of comfort coming home.
‘From a personal point of view, I think being able to win again and finding my feet slowly again – that’s been the biggest thing for me today,’ he said. – See more at: http://www.sascoc.co.za/2015/11/30/schwartzel-makes-history-with-alfred-dunhill-victory/#sthash.imct4QhO.dpuf

Van Zyl walks tall at SA Open Championships

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A year ago, Jaco van Zyl wasn’t sure he could walk 18 holes!
But, after a seven-under-par 65 on Thursday, he found himself in the first-round lead of the BMW South African Open Championship proudly hosted by the City of Ekurhuleni at Glendower Golf Club.
The opening round was scheduled to be completed on Friday after a storm halted play with 33 players still on the course.
Van Zyl played his first round without the assistance of knee braces after surgery to both his knees in 2014, and he picked up where he left off in the 2015 season with a round filled with an eagle, six birdies and a bogey which gave him a one-stroke edge over Shaun Norris, with Keith Horne and Jbe’ Kruger sharing third on five-under.
It was a satisfying start to a tournament Van Zyl badly wants to win. ‘It really felt good out there today. I felt very comfortable and there was not too much rust,’ he said. ‘It’s a very special week for South Africans, so we’re all going to try our best and stay in the mix.’
And if Van Zyl was satisfied, South African fans would have been pleased that, at the interruption, 11 of the top 19 players were South Africans: Justin Walters and Retief Goosen were on four-under, and Garth Mulroy, Branden Grace, Anthony Michael, Jacques Kruyswijk and Wallie Coetsee were all on three-under.
The scores were low on a course that made things tough for the player last year. But with a drought and a heatwave leaving the rough less punitive than it was then, there were birdies to be made for those who were careful. ‘It’s one of those golf courses that you go round and you think that it’s there for the taking but as soon as you let your guard down a little, it bites,’ said Van Zyl. ‘So you’ve always got to pick your targets off the tees, pick safe targets into greens and try and hole a couple of putts.’
Horne agreed. ‘There are a lot of holes here where you actually learn to be a little bit defensive and take your pars on them, and then you can take on others. If you can get that right then there are a lot of birdie opportunities, you’ve just got to keep the bogeys off your card.’
Kruger believes he knows the secret to scoring around Glendower. ‘The first thing you have to do is hit the fairways. It’s not a very long course and there are a lot of opportunities for birdies. Today I fortunately made a few putts which gets my score to five-under.’
There’s a long way to go yet, but for Van Zyl, it’s a quest for a big title that has been started well. ‘If I can get my first European Tour win here, it would just be so sweet,’ he said.
Picture of Van Zyl courtesy of Petri Oeschger/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)
Scores:
-7 – Jaco Van Zyl (RSA)
-6 – Shaun Norris (RSA)
-5 – Keith Horne (RSA), Jbe’ Kruger (RSA)
-4 – Tano Goya (ARG), Daniel Brooks (ENG), Justin Walters (RSA), Retief Goosen (RSA), Ross McGowan (ENG), David Drysdale (SCO) [15]
-3 – Nino Bertasio (ITA), Garth Mulroy (RSA), Branden Grace (RSA), Laurie Canter (ENG), Anthony Michael (RSA), Jacques Kruyswijk (RSA), Nicolo Ravano (ITA ), Wallie Coetsee (RSA) [15], Thomas Linard (FRA) [15]
-2 – Michael Palmer (RSA), Clement Berardo (FRA), Matthew Southgate (ENG), Ruan de Smidt (RSA), Robert Rock (ENG), Gregory Bourdy (FRA), Marcel Siem (GER), Chris Swanepoel (RSA), Johan Carlsson (SWE), Christiaan Bezuidenhout (RSA), Haydn Porteous (RSA), Dean Burmester (RSA), Brandon Stone (RSA) [17]
-1 – Doug McGuigan (SCO), Mark Williams (RSA), David Howell (ENG), Zander Lombard (RSA), Jean Hugo (RSA), Oliver Bekker (RSA), Edoardo Molinari (ITA), Alex Haindl (RSA), Trevor Fisher Jnr (RSA), Pelle Edberg (SWE), Ben Evans (ENG), Vaughn Groenewald (RSA) [17], Adrian Otaegui (ESP) [17], Oliver Fisher (ENG) [15], Pablo Martin Benavides (ESP) [15], Jeff Inglis (ENG) [15], Daniel Gavins (ENG) [15], Cameron Moralee (AMA) (RSA) [15], David Meyers (AMA) (RSA) [14]
Par – Jorge Campillo (ESP), Richard Sterne (RSA), Ockie Strydom (RSA), Jaco Ahlers (RSA), Merrick Bremner (RSA), Louis de Jager (RSA), JC Ritchie (RSA), David Dixon (ENG), Stuart Manley (WAL), Jason Scrivener (AUS), Matthew Baldwin (ENG), Graeme Storm (ENG), Craig Lee (SCO) [17]
+1 – Jaco Prinsloo (RSA), Nacho Elvira (ESP), Ernie Els (RSA), Andrew Georgiou (CYP), Michael Hollick (RSA), Colin Nel (RSA), Christiaan Basson (RSA), Daniel Greene (RSA), Darren Fichardt (RSA), Tyrone Mordt (RSA), Titch Moore (RSA), Daniel Im (USA),Lyle Rowe (RSA), Erik van Rooyen (RSA), Andrew Curlewis (RSA) [17], Jake Redman (RSA) [16], Danie van Tonder (RSA) [15], Peter Karmis (RSA) [15]
+2 – Le Roux Ferreira (RSA), Sebastien Gros (FRA), Jacques Blaauw (RSA), Gary Stal (FRA), Ulrich van den Berg (RSA), Madalitso Muthiya (ZAM), Jens Fahrbring (SWE), CJ du Plessis (RSA), Renato Paratore (ITA), Dylan Frittelli (RSA), Adilson Da Silva (BRA), Neil Schietekat (RSA), Chris Hanson (ENG), Jason Froneman (RSA), Daniel Hammond (RSA), Jade Buitendag (AMA) (RSA), Herman Loubser (AMA) (RSA), Lindani Ndwandwe (RSA), Romain Wattel (FRA), Bjorn Akesson (SWE), Tjaart van der Walt (RSA) [17], Jared Harvey (RSA) [16], Jamie McLeary (SCO) [16], Lasse Jensen(DEN) [15], Tyrone Ferreira (RSA) [14]
+3 – Ryan Evans (ENG), Teaghan Gauche (AMA) (RSA), Dwayne Basson (RSA), Trevor Immelman (RSA), Justin Harding (RSA), Matt Ford (ENG), Simon Dyson (ENG), Francesco Laporta (ITA), Richard McEvoy (ENG), Rhys West (RSA), Callum Mowat (RSA), Lee Slattery (ENG), George Coetzee (RSA), Andy Sullivan (ENG), Rhys Davies (WAL), Gary Boyd (ENG) [17], Heinrich Bruiners (RSA) [15], Albert Venter (AMA) (RSA) [14]
+4 – Eddie Taylor (RSA), Marcus Kinhult (SWE), Andrew Johnston (ENG), Hennie Otto (RSA), Dominic Foos (GER) [15]
+5 – James Busby (ENG), Rourke van der Spuy (RSA), Mark Foster (ENG), Derick Petersen (RSA), Louis Calitz (RSA), Michiel Bothma (RSA) [17], Darryn Lloyd (RSA) [15], Seve Benson (ENG) [14], James Robinson (ENG) [14]
+6 – Jeff Winther (DEN), PH McIntyre (RSA), Borja Virto Astudillo (ESP), Trevor Dodds(NAM), Lukas Nemecz (AUT) [15], Tristen Strydom (AMA) (RSA) [14]
+7 – Morten Orum Madsen (DEN), Joachim B. Hansen (DEN), Jack Kutumane (RSA), Jin Jeong (KOR), Daniel Young (SCO) (AMA), John Parry (ENG) [17]
+8 – Oliver Wilson (ENG)
+9 – Andre Nel (AMA) (RSA)
+10 – Jean-Paul Strydom (RSA)
RTD – Nicolas Colsaerts (BEL) [9], Richard Finch (ENG) [7]
– See more at: http://www.sascoc.co.za/2016/01/08/van-zyl-walks-tall-at-sa-open-championships/#sthash.Z219Hxyf.dpuf

McIlroy returns in style to lead Spieth by two

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Rory McIlroy showed little rustiness as he returned from an extended break to shoot a six-under 66 and stay two strokes clear of playing partner and world No 1 Jordan Spieth in the first round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on Thursday.

Four-time major winner McIlroy’s last tournament appearance was in November’s DP World Tour Championship which he won to top Europe’s money list for a third season in four and put a gloss on an injury-interrupted season.

A year earlier, McIlroy launched his bid for the US Masters, the only major he has yet to win, but instead of sealing a career grand slam he saw Spieth, 22, take both the Augusta title and later the world No 1 ranking.

“It’s not about making statements or trying to lay down markers, it’s just about trying to play the best that I can,” McIlroy, 26, told reporters after a sizzling first round that opened with successive birdies.

“I felt in practice last week in Dubai I was swinging well. I keep saying there’s no reason why I can’t bring that confidence from the range and practice rounds into the real thing. Today I was able to do that.”

Click here to watch video
Sixth-ranked Rickie Fowler completed an awesome playing trio that drew a crowd of more than 200 despite their near-dawn start.

There was little interaction between the players on their front nine, but they seemed more relaxed as the round grew on. Spieth and McIlroy, winners of four of the past six majors, amiably chatted as they walked the later fairways.

McIlroy’s early charge was briefly halted by a bogey on his fourth, but he responded with birdies at five and six to reach the turn on three under.

Spieth was a stroke adrift after picking up shots at his sixth and ninth holes.

McIlroy stretched his lead over Spieth with birdies at 10 and 12, the American sinking three birdies and two birdies in an erratic six holes, but the Northern Irishman then lipped out a 30-foot putt of the final green and Spieth responded with eight-foot birdie to narrow the gap.

Nedbank Golf Challenge 

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Nedbank Golf Challenge Preview

By: Nazli Hamilton | 09 Nov | 08:28

© supersport.com

© Gallo Images

HISTORY
The Nedbank Golf Challenge – affectionately known as Africa’s Major – was first held at Sun City in 1981 when Johnny Miller bagged $500 000 for his 11-under par victory.
Back then the tournament didn’t enjoy official status and was held at the end of the PGA and European Tour seasons to allow the best players in the world to accept invitations to join the elite field of 12 during the South African summer.
Three things attracted big international stars to South Africa – exclusivity, the big prize money and the sunny weather. The tournament, however, has evolved over many years. There were the ‘Million Dollar’ days when the tournament boasted the biggest winners’ cheque in the world, and when other tournaments caught up the prize was upped to $2 million.
In 2013 the field was expanded to 30 players as the tournament joined the Sunshine Tour and European Tour calendars. This year, though, the tournament has been added to the European Tour Play-offs (The Race to Dubai) series of three tournaments – Turkish Airlines Open (won by Thorbjorn Oleson), Nedbank Golf Challenge and the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The field has been expanded to 72 and will consist mostly of the top 64 available players from the current year Race to Dubai standings. The remainder of the field will consist of the defending champion, previous winners of the Sunshine Tour order of merit as well as tournament invitations.
Australia’s Marc Leishman is the defending champion after he defeated Henrik Stenson by six strokes for a 19-under par victory last year.
The tournament was last won by a South African in 2007 when Trevor Immelman lifted the coveted trophy. There are nine South Africans in the field this year: Thomas Aiken, George Coetzee, Retief Goosen, Brandon Grace, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Richard Sterne, Brandon Steone and Jaco van Zyl.
NUMBERS
72 players from 22 different countries

56 European Tour winners

12 Ryder Cup players

61 per cent of the field will be making their tournament debut

23 winners this season

42 of the top 50 in The Race to Dubai

4 former European Number Ones
Henrik Stenson (2013)

Martin Kaymer (2010)

Padraig Harrington (2006)

Retief Goosen (2001, 2002)

All 5 multiple winners this season
Henrik Stenson

Danny Willett

Charl Schwartzel

Jeunghun Wang

Alex Noren

4 former winners of the Nedbank Golf Challenge
Retief Goosen (2004)

Henrik Stenson (2008)

Martin Kaymer (2012)

Danny Willett (2014)

7 Major winners with 11 titles between them
Padraig Harrington (3)

Martin Kaymer, Retief Goosen (2 each)

Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett (1 each)

1 former World Number One
Martin Kaymer