European Tour boosts Nedbank Golf Challenge

South Africa's Nedbank Golf Challenge has been given a prime place in the European Tour's Finals Series for the Race to Dubai.

Tournament hosts, Sun International have extended their sponsorship of the Gary Player Country Club event for three more years, as have Nedbank.

The event – known as Africa's Major – will now take place at the end of the year, one week before the European Tour's season finale at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

As a result, the field increases from 30 players to 72 and the total prize money to $7 million. As the event is the penultimate tournament in the Race to Dubai, it should also attract a much stronger field of players.

Keith Waters, the COO and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, revealed more.

"We have enjoyed a superb relationship with the Sunshine Tour for many years and today's significant announcement is another perfect example of that," said Waters.

"The addition of such a prestigious tournament as the Nedbank Golf Challenge to our Final Series in 2016 will not only enhance the Series itself, but will also increase the excitement and anticipation of golf fans across the world.

"On behalf of The European Tour, I want to place on record our sincere thanks to sponsors Nedbank, our hosts Sun International and the Sunshine Tour itself, not only for embracing the date switch, but also for supporting the eligibility changes and the field size. 

"Today's announcement would not have been possible without their co-operation on that score, and such vision and commitment to the global game should be applauded."

Meanwhile, Sun Internationals CEO, Graeme Stephens, was excited about the opportunity to put on a world-class event on a much grander stage.

"We are very excited about this new era in the Nedbank Golf Challenge, the extension of our partnership with Nedbank and what this means for South African golf as the home of one of the biggest tournaments in world golf," he said.