Morten Orum Madsen had no sooner added his name to one of South African golf’s most prestigious trophies than he also added his name to the $6.5-million Nedbank Golf Challenge field.
The young Dane’s victory in the South African Open has also secured him a place in the upcoming Nedbank Golf Challenge as part of the expanded eligibility criteria for this event.
With his two-stroke triumph for a maiden European Tour victory at Glendower Golf Club on Sunday, Madsen went from a world ranking of 244th to a coveted place in the 30-man Nedbank Golf Challenge field at the Gary Player Country Club from 5-8 December.
And the golfer who initially only used to come to South Africa on holiday wasted no time in extending his stay to include a trip to Sun City.
“From the very first time I played in South Africa I thoroughly enjoyed it. I always thought I would play pretty well in South Africa, but I didn’t expect to win. It’s an amazing feeling,” he said on Sunday.
Madsen is the first Dane to win the South African Open, and now joins fellow Dane Thomas Bjorn in the Nedbank Golf Challenge field.
“We’re delighted to welcome Morten as part of our 2013 field. The expanded eligibility criteria was designed to give players an opportunity to qualify right up to the week before the tournament, and we still have one more event in the Alfred Dunhill Championship to go,” said Alastair Roper, the Tournament Director for Sun International’s Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Madsen claimed his place with an impressive final round at Glendower in which he overcame a strong South African challenge. Charl Schwartzel held the lead before a triple bogey on the sixth hole and then a double bogey on the tenth. And Hennie Otto was in front as he chased a second South African Open title in three years, but then he bogeyed the 15th and double bogeyed the 16th.
“To have the SA Open as my first victory on the European Tour is extremely special,” said Madsen. “If you look down the list of names that have won this tournament in the past there are Major champions and really great champions all around, so it’s an honour.”