ALFRED DUNHILL CHAMPIONSHIP
Site: Malelane, South Africa.
Course: Leopard Creek CC. Yardage: 7,249. Par: 72.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 5:30-10:30 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 4:30-9:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: 1.5 million euros (US $1.65 million). Winner’s share: 250,000 euros ($275,000).
Defending champion: David Lipsky.
Race to Dubai winner: Jon Rahm.
Last week: Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour Championship to capture the Race to Dubai.
Notes: One week after Rahm won the season finale, the European Tour starts a new season in South Africa. The season was supposed to start with two events, but the Hong Kong Open (co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour) was postponed because of violent unrest in the city . … The field includes former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, a four-time winner of the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He has missed the last seven months recovering from a wrist injury. This is his first event since the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head a week after the Masters. … The field includes Erik van Rooyen and Eddie Pepperell, both trying to finish the year in the top 50 to earn a trip to the Masters. … Ernie Els is playing two weeks before he captains the International team in the Presidents Cup. He is a three-time winner of the event, including the first one that was part of the European Tour schedule in 1995.
Next week: AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.
Online: www.europeantour.com and www.sunshinetour.com