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South Africa's flagship golfing event the Nedbank Golf Challenge is set to take place this weekend at the 8000 yard Gary Player Country Club is a golf club in Sun City. Affectionately known as 'Africa's Major', coordinators have confirmed another all-star field which has been reorganized to showcase a superior brand of players.
The 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge rush will be led by the 37 year-old Swede, Henrik Stenson who is perhaps the most in-form golfer of the moment .The Swede is set to finish the year as Europe's number one after an excellent 2013 spell that saw him become the very first golfer to win the Fed Ex Cup and the Race to Dubai in the same season.
Other internationally recognised golfers ready to clinch a place among the great champions at the Gary Player Country Club, include the likes of Martin Kaymer who will be is back to defend his title. Englishman Luke Donald is back in the field this year while South African-born Englishman Justin Rose, Spaniard Sergio Garcia and American D.A Points will also be making an appearance at Sun City this year. Most of the golfers have already arrived in the country with many taking a short South African holiday while going on safaris.
As expected there will be a strong South African contingent led by Major conquerors Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Ernie Els. Schwartzel will be confident of his chances having finished two strokes behind to Germany's Martin Kaymer after a dramatic final round last year. Not to mention the fact that Schwartzel heads to Sun City on the back of a history making third Alfred Dunhill Championship.
While there may be a strong emotional link to this event for the South Africans, golf betting enthusiasts will be in for a treat this year given that recent media hype surrounding the event indicates that the foreigner participants also value their place in the Sun City field.
The third instalment of the Rugby Sevens World series takes place at the Port Elizabeth Bay Stadium here in South Africa this weekend. After an exhilaratingly competitive season opener in Australia and a thrilling weekend in Dubai the 16 competing main Series Cup nations get ready for another action packed Rugby Sevens showing.
Pool A headliners, Fiji backed up an outstanding semi-final 44-0 victory against World Champions New Zealand by producing a magnificent display of Sevens rugby to blitz South Africa 29-17 and take their first Dubai Sevens title last Saturday. The South Pacific Islanders are set to taken on Scotland, Australia and France in South Africa.
The Blitzbokke made their first world series final under new coach Neil Powell, but were unable to counter attack Fiji's impressive Sevens proficiency at this level. Out in PE this weekend the hosts will once again face off with their only Africans rivals Kenya and their former head coach Paul Treu, in addition to minos Canada and Spain in Pool B.
England lead the charge in Pool D as the highest ranked squad ahead of the South African leg, they form part of this weekend’s group of danger, featuring Argentina, Samoa and the only non-core squad in the draw, African regional qualifiers, Zimbabwe.
Following the first two 2013/14 rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Australia and Dubai, reigning champions the All Blacks lead the current standings with 39 Series points. Four points adrift in second-place are the Fijians, followed by South Africa (34) and England (32).
It’s cup final week for Platinum Stars and Orlando Pirates as they prepare to battle it out this Saturday at the most notorious Knockout deciders in Mzanzi. On the line at the Mbombela Stadium will off course be the highly sort after Telkom Knockout trophy, not to mention a staggering cash prize of R4,250,000 for the eventual winners.
Dikwena have already axed TKO seasoned professionals Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs enroute to the final and now the Buccaneers are the only team standing between them and a second cup trophy this season.
Dikwena's outstanding semi-final victory against Kaizer Chiefs added another achievement to their remarkable streak in Cup competitions, having already experienced success in the MTN8 this season, where they overcame TKO challengers Pirates in the final. Platinum Stars top dog Allan Freese says ‘‘his team never doubted that they would reach the final’’, the Rustenburg outfit go into the final high in sprites and with no cause of worry, they make the trip with a full strength squad.
One the other hand Pirates know that taking the TKO cup back to Orlando is something that may very well turn their disappointing season around. They will have Happy Jele back from suspension for the final with Key performers Oupa Manyisa and Rooi Mahamutsa returning for Saturday’s big match , this according to coach Roger de Sa.
Saturday’s final is the third in as many months for Pirates who lost in a penalty out against to Stars following the MTN8 final in Durban. They were then outdone 3-1 on aggregate by Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the CAF Champions League final. But On the bright side, Buccaneer striker Lennox Bacela is sprinting away with the TKO top goal-scorer medal, with a superb five goals to his name already.
The Northwestern Mutual World Challenge is offseason golf tournament of note. Presented by Tiger Woods Foundation, this annual event takes place every December at the Sherwood Country Club. This year will mark the 14th edition of the event and like clockwork the four day golfing engagement l gets under way this Thursday (December 5–8).
The world renowned Jack Nicklaus designed 7,052 yard course will host another stars-studded group in another rousing holiday tournament. The small but experience 18 man field includes Graeme McDowell who is back to defend his 2012 title, the defending champion will be accompanied by three other Europeans who have been challenging in Asia for the Race to Dubai ahead off Woods' tournament.
Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day will also be competing, while Ernie Els has been replaced in the field at Sherwood Country Club by Dustin Johnson.
The other Americans teeing it up this week Woods are; PGA champion Jason Dufner, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Keegan Bradley and Steve Stricker.