Leading the wave is Peter Uihlein, who yesterday won the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year title. The American currently tops the Sunshine Tour Rookie Race and has the chance to break records when he tees up at Gary Player Country Club in two weeks' time.
A total of 12 of the top 14 players on the 2013 Race to Dubai standings will compete at Sun City from the third to the eight of December.
Fellow young stars Victor Dubuisson, Joost Luiten and Matteo Manassero all finished within the top 14 on the Race to Dubai, and will join Jamie Donaldson, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Thongchai Jaidee, Thomas Bjørn and Francesco Molinari for the $6.5-million tournament.
Uihlein heads to Sun City after becoming the first American to win the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award for a season in which he won his maiden European Tour title and finished 14th on the Race to Dubai.
France’s Dubuisson beat the biggest names in golf to his first European Tour title this year when he saw off Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose to win the Turkish Airlines Open on his way to finishing sixth on the Race to Dubai.
Italian professional Manassero became the youngest winner of the BMW PGA Championship this year, adding to a glittering resume that includes the youngest winner of the British Amateur Championship, the youngest player to make the cut in the Masters, the youngest winner on the European Tour, and the first teenager to win three times on the European Tour. He finished 11th on the Race to Dubai.
And Luiten won twice on the European Tour this year on his way to finishing 12th on the Race to Dubai.
“The expanded eligibility criteria to include the Race to Dubai has given us a crop of the hottest young players in world golf at the moment,” said Sun International’s Tournament Director Alastair Roper.
“And added to this list is the true cream of the European Tour season. Drawing from the Race to Dubai, and similarly the FedEx Cup, gives us a field of truly in-form players.”
Welshman Jamie Donaldson makes his debut at Sun City as one of the highest ranked players in the field following his fifth-place finish on the Race to Dubai after a win and several top-10s this season.
And the trio of Fdez-Castaño, Jaidee, Bjørn and Molinari add to the experience in the 30-man line-up, with all of them ending the European Tour season within the top 13 on the Race to Dubai.