Sun, 15 Dec 2019

Sun City - The Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club is not about the amount of people that flock to Sun City, it's about creating the best fan experience, according to tournament director Ken Payet.

The fan experience at this year's tournament is exceptional with various activities, a wide arrange of entertainment and dining options over and above the top-class golf on offer.

Last year, "Africa's Major" broke all previous attendance records with 72 000 fans attending thanks to the major drawcard of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.

Payet, who has a been the tournament director for the past two years, revealed that they have decided to cap the weekend to allow only 20 000 people in per day to ensure an incredible fan experience.

"For us it's not about the amount of people, it's about the experience," Payet told Sport24 in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

"So we've actually capped on a Saturday and Sunday to 20 000 because if we go over that mark then that detracts from the whole fan experience that we're trying to create.

"We making sure than year-on-year, we improve. Next year it's our 40th anniversary and we need to make sure we're better than this year," he said.

"We always try and get the superstars, your marquee players like your Rory's and Dustin Johnson. However, in reality some Americans are reluctant to travel so far to South Africa and it's their off season," said Payet.

"We were hoping the $2.5 million first prize cheque would entice those players but we're not disappointed in our field. I know this is a world class field."

There are nine South Africans in the field, with the action scheduled to get underway on Thursday from 09:00.

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