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Arriving in Sun City: Who Will Win the Second Leg of the Race to Dubai?

November 10, 2016

- Grant Whittington

While the Nedbank Golf Challenge may seem like just another tournament, it is fact part of something much more significant. In fact, it is now established as the middle leg of the coveted Race to Dubai, which is a series finale that also includes the Turkish Airlines Open and the climactic DP World Tour Championship at the Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The event, which survived a cull that shortened the final series from four to three tournaments, is the last competition before the top 60 players on the Race to Dubai leader-board head to Jumeirah to compete for the title of Europe’s best golfer. Dramatic and important in equal measure, we should fire works as players compete and some fight for the opportunity to play in Dubai and make history.

Who Are the Favourites for the Nedbank Golf Challenge?

The Nedbank Golf Challenge is an interesting event, and one that has a long and unusual history. Despite now being established as one of the most lucrative and important event in the golfing calendar (and one that is commonly referred to as the Million Dollar Challenge), it actually started life as an unofficial, free event where players did not compete for either money or ranking points.

This is no longer the case, however, with the 72-strong field now competing for a $2 million winners’ fund and a confirmed place in the season’s show-piece event in Dubai. The competition will also be fierce, with an estimated 64 entrants actively participating in the Race to Dubai and the remaining competitors consisting of former champions and those who are awarded special invitations.

The initial favourite for the event is Henrik Stenson, who currently leads the Race to Dubai rankings and is in outstanding form. He also earned a runners-up spot in the coveted World Golf Championship in China last week, scoring an impressive 16 under par in a valiant effort. Rory McIlroy also played himself into contention with a final round 66 in Sheshan, which did much to offset a relatively disappointing, fourth place finish.

Danny Willett is also fancied by the bookmakers, not least because he triumphed at the Gary Player Country Club in fine style back in 2014. He is also second in the race to Dubai and only missed out on the European Tour title by a single stroke to McIlroy  in 2015, so he represents a serious threat to the experienced Stenson and the powerful, occasionally unplayable Ulsterman.

Who Will Triumph in Sun City?

The event, which will start in Sun City on November 10th, remains one of the key dates in the golfing calendar and will arguably be one of the most keenly-contested tournaments of the season. From the leading contenders, Stenson will lead the tee-off and have the first opportunity to stake his claim, so he will be keen to make a strong statement and forge an initial lead.

On a final note, those who like to back outsiders may want to avert their attention to Andy Sullivan, who finished last season strongly and almost triumphed in Dubai. He is currently 14th in the race to Dubai, and he could pose a threat to the favourites in South Africa.

The competition commences on October 11. Back your favourite to win Nedbank Golf Challenge now.

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