By Michael Vlismas
The 2011 PGA Championship winner was announced alongside fellow Major champion Louis Oosthuizen as well as Lee Westwood, Branden Grace, Robert Streb, Scott Piercy and Steven Bowditch as part of the 30-man field for the third to the sixth December tournament.
They join Ernie Els, Webb Simpson, Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson and Thomas Aiken, who have already been confirmed for the European Tour and Sunshine Tour co-sanctioned tournament at Sun City.
Bradley is the fourth Major champion in the current field of 12 players. The winner of three PGA Tour titles became only the fourth golfer in history to win a Major championship on debut when he claimed the 2011 PGA Championship in his rookie season as a professional. He has also played in two Ryder Cups and one Presidents Cup.
Bradley adds to a strong American challenge for this year’s tournament alongside former US Open champion Simpson, and fellow PGA Tour campaigners Streb and Piercy.
Streb makes his debut at Sun City on the back of a solid season on the PGA Tour in which he won the McGladrey Classic (played in October 2014 but forming part of the PGA Tour’s 2015 season) and had a further eight top-10 finishes. He also finished tied 18th in the Open and tied 10th in the PGA Championship. Piercy heads into the Nedbank Golf Challenge as a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, the latest of which was a victory in the Barbasol Championship in July.
Englishman Westwood returns to Sun City hoping to win a third Nedbank Golf Challenge title following his victories in 2010 and 2011, and which would place him alongside David Frost, Nick Price and Els as the only players to have achieved this in the tournament’s history.
The South African challenge is bolstered by the inclusion of Oosthuizen and Grace as the country’s young stars in the field.
The duo produced a celebrated performance for the International team in the recent Presidents Cup in which they became the first International pairing to win all four matches before the Sunday singles. This included a 4&3 victory over American favourites Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. Grace also became only the fifth player in history and the second International player to win all five of his matches in a single Presidents Cup.
The South Africans both performed well in the Majors this year. Oosthuizen twice finished runner-up, in the Open and the US Open, while Grace finished tied fourth in the US Open and third in the PGA Championship.
Australian Steven Bowditch is another player making his debut in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. He claimed his second PGA Tour title this year in the AT&T Byron Nelson and will be looking to become only the second Australian winner of “Africa’s Major” following Robert Allenby in 2009.
2015 NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE CONFIRMED PLAYERS:
Ernie Els (South Africa)
Webb Simpson (United States)
Keegan Bradley (United States)
Lee Westwood (England)
Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa)
Henrik Stenson (Sweden)
Branden Grace (South Africa)
Danny Willett (England)
Thomas Aiken (South Africa)
Robert Streb (United States)
Scott Piercy (United States)
Steven Bowditch (Australia)