South Africa’s Zander Lombard is determined to use his experience of leading the Nedbank Golf Challenge in 2019 as he prepares for another shot at ‘Africa’s Major’ at the Gary Player Country Club this week.
Lombard was delighted to be back at Sun City on Tuesday for an event which this year boasts a stellar 66-man field including defending champion Tommy Fleetwood, Major winners Justin Rose, Francesco Molinari and Justin Thomas, and Ryder Cup stars Max Homa, Nicolai Højgaard and Robert MacIntyre as well as a host of other DP World Tour winners.
“It’s great to be back. It’s always a special week with friends and family that come to support. That’s what you play golf for. It’s great to have a few of the PGA Tour golfers here as well and it adds to the value of this event. I’m just really looking forward to this week,” said Lombard.
The South African had a memorable 2019 tournament when he played alongside Ernie Els and Lee Westwood in the second round and shot 65 to lead by two going into the weekend. He then enjoyed a Saturday in front of his home fans and which he finished with a one-stroke lead going into the final round, before ending tied eighth.
“It was just so special playing with Ernie and Lee. I gained a lot from that week in terms of how to deal with that pressure and how to entertain the fans while still focusing on your golf. I’ve matured a lot in the two years since then and I’m looking forward to the challenge this week.
“I’m currently 30th on the Race to Dubai Rankings and I’ve had a solid season. I went a bit quiet during the middle of the season, but the start and the finish of it has been strong. My game is in a good place. My head is in a good place. I’m just really looking forward to putting a good score together this week. I’ve got nothing to lose and will just play my best.”