Westwood replaces Clarke at Nedbank Challenge
BY iseekgolf.com | Southern Africa Tour | 2004 Nedbank Golf Challenge | General | 29 Nov 2004
Lee Westwood will replace Darren Clarke at the 2004 Nedbank Golf Challenge after the Northern Ireland stalwart was forced to pull out after his wife fell ill and was admitted to hospital.
Clarke has withdrawn from all golf commitments for the rest of the year.
Westwood makes a return to the Nedbank Golf Challenge after an absence of two years. He is currently the highest-ranked Englishman in the world after struggling to find his best form during the 2001 and 2002 seasons.
He is a member of the elite club of golf professionals who have won on five continents, has 16 European Tour titles to his name and has collected trophies on the PGA Tour, in Japan, Australia and South Africa, where he won the Dimension Data Pro-Am at Sun City.
Westwood, a powerful ball striker who also has an impressive short game, made his debut in Nedbank Golf Challenge in 1998, and came very close to winning. After an opening round of 72, he fired 65 then 66 to be in contention on the final day. He closed with a 73 which left him only three shots out the playoff between Nick Price and Tiger Woods.
After a fourth place in the event a year later, in 2000 he compiled four sub-70 rounds to finish on 20-under par, a score that tied him with Ernie Els at the top of the leaderboard. He lost the playoff to Els’ birdie on the second extra hole.
Westwood’s 2004 season has seen him again make an invaluable contribution to the European team’s effort in the Ryder Cup, and his brilliant play in the HSBC World Match Play earned him a place in the final against Ernie Els, who triumphed 2 and 1.
No one doubted that Westwood would regain his status as a serious contender even when he slipped down the World Rankings and finished his 2002 season in the lowly position of 75th on the European Tour’s Order of Merit. He is now certainly back to his best, having earned more than $2.1 million this season, and fans at the Nedbank Golf Challenge can look forward to enjoying his exciting brand of play on a course that he admits is one of his favourites
Chad Campbell (USA)
Chris DiMarco (USA)
Ernie Els (South Africa)
Fredrik Jacobsen (Sweden)
Jay Haas (USA)
Jim Furyk (USA)
Lee Westwood (England)
Nick Price (Zimbabwe)
Retief Goosen (South Africa)
Sergio Garcia (Spain) Stuart Appleby (Australia)
Todd Hamilton (USA)
Source – Nedbank Challenge