Hazards abound at Leopard Creek Country Club as three Aussie professionals endeavour to end their 2018 campaigns with a boost heading into the New Year.
This week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship on the European Tour will be played in spectacular surrounds as the Gary Player design butts up against South Africa’s legendary Kruger National Park and the wild and wonderful creatures found within.
Whether it is hippos frolicking in the adjacent Krokodilrivier or giraffes and elephants dominating the landscape, Nick Cullen, Deyen Lawson and Dimi Papadatos have already enjoyed an experience off the course that they’ll likely never forget.
The trio all missed the cut at last week’s South African Open but have the opportunity to end the year on the right note and generate some momentum for when the tour resumes in Abu Dhabi on January 16.
Course improvements to Leopard Creek – regularly regarded as South Africa’s No.1 golf course – meant that the tournament wasn’t played last year, paving the way for Cullen, Lawson and Papadatos to make their debuts at the Alfred Dunhill this week.
Having battled a stomach virus last week Cullen is hoping to bounce back at what he described as “a pretty special place” in an Instagram post earlier in the week.
Papadatos and Lawson have both taken the opportunity to go on safari while in South Africa but will face a different challenge from the locals when they tee it up on Thursday.
The past six Alfred Dunhill Championships have been won by South African golfers with Branden Stone returning to defend the title he won two years ago, Louis Oosthuizen looking to complete the home double after a win at the South African Open last week while Charl Schwartzel will likely be in the mix having won at Leopard Creek four times previously.
The European Tour’s Staysure Tour for the over-50s reaches the conclusion of its 2018 season this week with the MCB Tour Championship-Seychelles tournament, Constance Lemuria the venue for the first professional golf tournament ever held in the Seychelles.
Australia’s lone representative for the 32-man field who will tee it up in this idyllic location is Peter Fowler who is currently seventh on the Order of Merit.
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