What’s changed for the 39th edition of Africa’s Major?
Mike: The 39th edition of Africa’s Major marks the beginning of a new contract between Nedbank and our tournament partners – Sun International and the European Tour – seeing our partnership extended through to 2021. The tournament will also see some exciting new additions in the form of increased prize money for the winning golfer, making it one of the biggest winner’s prizes in world golf, and greater Race to Dubai points on offer – all adding to the excitement for golf fans and viewers around the world. Finally, 2019 will mark the first time the Nedbank Golf Challenge experience will be completely cashless for spectators –in line with our vision to lead in digital financial services.
What are you most looking forward to at this year's tournament?
Mike: 2019 will see the return of the tournament’s most successful participant, Ernie Els. The Big Easy will undoubtedly add an extra level to the buzz already created by the plethora of top-level golfing talent participating at Sun City this year. Ernie is a legend of South African sport and we , like all golf loving South Africans, cannot wait to welcome him back to Africa’s major.
What is the best story Gary Player has told you on the 1st tee?
Mike: Too many to mention – and the best are those about Dale Hayes that I can’t repeat!
Tell us your fondest Nedbank Golf Challenge memory?
Mike: Really hard to have only “one” fondest memory as it is impossible to choose between the privilege of hosting our top clients in a relaxed atmosphere, the exhilaration of watching the best golfers in the world take on the challenge of the Gary Player Country Club and the great food and entertainment . Putting all that together, my best memory of "Africa’s Major" is always when I think of the role the Nedbank Golf Challenge has played for nearly 40 years in helping us showcase the best of South Africa to the world and in inspiring the next generation of South African golfers onto the world stage.
What does this tournament mean to Nedbank?
Mike: Africa’s Major is a great platform for us, together with Sun International, to showcase our beautiful country to the world. It also provides Nedbank with a unique platform to engage and reward our clients through one of the best hospitality/live experiences in Africa. We also utilise the event to give back. It is a means to demonstrate our mission of using our financial expertise to do good for South Africa, both through innovative experiences for event attendees and through community upliftment initiatives.
How many balls have you lost on the Gary Player Country Club golf course?
Mike: In over 10 years of playing in the pro-am and in the Sports Trust Charity days, I really have lost count.