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Nedbank Golf Challenge 2013: Daily Leaderboard, Highlights & Analysis

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2013

Nedbank Golf Challenge 2013: Daily Leaderboard, Highlights & Analysis

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    The 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa promises to be one of the more exciting stops on the Sunshine and European Tours this year.

    As usual, this exciting event will feature a handful of highly ranked golfers all vying for a chunk of the prize fund—raised to $6.5 million this year—at Gary Player Country Club.

    However, the 2013 edition of the Nedbank Golf Challenge has shifted slightly from the former 12-man invitational format that the organizers employed. The field for “Africa’s Major” has been increased to 30 competitors, and should make for an extremely exciting weekend of golf.

    Stars such as Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia are just a few of the many elite players that make up the field.

    The action begins on Dec. 5 and runs through Dec. 8, when a champion will be crowned, so make sure you check back here throughout the tournament for daily updates.

    Keep scrolling for an updated leaderboard, session recaps and more. 

Leaderboard

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Pos

    Player

    To Par

    R1

    R2

    R3

    R4

    Tot

    1

    Thomas Bjorn

    -20

    67

    70

    66

    65

    268

    T2

    Sergio Garcia

    -18

    66

    73

    66

    65

    270

    T2

    Jamie Donaldson

    -18

    67

    66

    67

    70

    270

    4

    Henrik Stenson

    -16

    69

    67

    69

    67

    272

    5

    Brendon de Jonge

    -15

    70

    68

    69

    66

    273

    6

    Charl Schwartzel

    -13

    68

    70

    71

    66

    275

    T7

    Justin Rose

    -12

    73

    67

    69

    67

    276

    T7

    Ryan Moore

    -12

    71

    65

    67

    73

    276

    9

    Thongchai Jaidee

    -11

    69

    70

    66

    72

    277

    10

    Peter Uihlein

    -9

    70

    69

    70

    70

    279

     

    Leaderboard through Round 4

Day 1 Recap

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Poor weather marred the first day of the 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge. Gary Player Country Club was hit with heavy rains to cause an initial delay, and eventually play had to be called when lightning was spotted.

    As per the tournament’s official Twitter feed, the first round will resume at 7:30 a.m. local time on Friday. Leader Luke Donald leads the first group, which will also include Jamie Donaldson and Thomas Bjorn.

    Donald managed to jump out to a two-stroke lead after 11 holes. The former world No. 1 golfer was dominant right out of the gate, birdying on No. 1 before sinking an eagle on No. 2. He put together birdies on back-to-back holes at No. 8 and No. 9 to reach his impressive score.

    Donaldson and Bjorn are in a two-way tie for second with a three-under, although the Welshman has finished 12 holes compared to the six the Dane has played. These two veteran golfers look poised to be in contention throughout the duration of “Africa’s Major.”

    Martin Kaymer has himself positioned to finish the first round strong, as the German star is just three strokes off the lead at two-under. The defending champion in this event definitely knows what it takes to outlast the field.

    There is an eight-way tie behind Kaymer for fifth place—a group that includes big-name players such as Henrik Stenson, Charl Schwartzel and Sergio Garcia. All of these stars should be in contention come Sunday.

    Make sure you tune in on Day 2 for this tournament, as there will be plenty of golf to make up for today’s relatively disappointing outing.

Day 2 Recap

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Jamie Donaldson put together a great performance on Day 2 of the 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge.

    The veteran Welsh star moved from a tie for second-place at the end of the first day all the way up to sole possession of first. He completed the weather-delayed first round with a respectable 67 and followed that up with a six-under par in the second to finish Friday at 11-under.

    That excellent round puts him three strokes ahead of Ryan Moore—who had the best Round 2 of any participant with a seven-under showing—and Henrik Stenson, both who are eight-under par after two days of play.

    The clear weather at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa was certainly a nice change, as rain and lightning put a damper on the opening round. Golfers woke up early this morning to hit the course and are finally caught up heading into championship weekend.

    It should be an exciting finish, especially with so many great golfers lurking in the pack. German star Martin Kaymer isn’t far from the lead, going six-under in Round 2 to force a tie for fourth place with Thomas Bjorn at seven-under.

    Don’t count out South African star Charl Schwartzel, as the crowd favorite is locked in a three-way tie for sixth place at six-under. His two-under on Friday wasn’t his best showing, but he is still in prime position to make a run over the next two days.

    Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia are also right in the thick of things, compiling a five-under before heading into the clubhouse on Friday. They are two of six golfers tied for ninth place.

    Expect the wheat to separate from the chaff in the near future, as these elite competitors look to make their move soon and capture “Africa’s Major.”

Day 3 Recap

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Jamie Donaldson continued to be the epitome of consistency on Day 3 of the Nedbank Golf Challenge. 

     The Welshman once again posted one of the best scores of the day with a 67 to match his Round 1 total and remain atop the leaderboard at 16-under for the tourney. With three straight days of consistent play, he'll be difficult to top in Sunday's action. 

    Emerging as top threats to Donaldson on Sunday were Thomas Bjorn and Ryan Moore. Both will start the fourth and final round at three strokes behind Donaldson at 13-under. 

    Bjorn was especially brilliant on Day 3. He followed up his Day 2 70 with a 66 on Saturday to shoot the best round of the day. However, Moore should be recognized for his consistency—he followed up his stellar 65 on Day 2 with a 67. 

    Sergio Garcia rounded out the day's notable performances. He fired a 67 for the second time in the tournament to get to 11-under on the day and should have a top-five finish barring a meltdown on Sunday. 

Day 4 Recap

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Thomas Bjorn has won the 2013 Nedbank Golf Challenge.

    The 42-year-old veteran made an incredible push on Sunday to claim the championship, going seven-under par—tied for the day’s top score—in the fourth and final round. He finished the tournament at 20-under and never shot higher than a 70 over the past four days.

    It is the 15th European Tour title of the Dane’s long career, which began back in 1993 when he turned professional.

    Sergio Garcia finished just behind Bjorn, posting the same Sunday score—seven-under—but it wasn’t enough to close the gap between the two competitors. The Spaniard tied with Jamie Donaldson—who led going into the clubhouse on Saturday evening—for second at 18-under.

    Henrik Stenson put together an admirable performance, but ultimately couldn’t do enough to separate himself from the pack. He finished at 16-under and in sole possession of fourth place after a stellar outing at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.

    Charl Schwartzel was the top-ranked South African in this event, finishing in sixth place with very respectable 13-under. Brendan De Jonge finished just ahead of the 2011 Masters winner with a 15-under, while Justin Rose and Ryan Moore were behind him and tied for seventh with 12-unders.

    Thongchai Jaidee and Peter Uihlein rounded out the top 10, with the former nabbing ninth place with an 11-under outing, while the latter put together a nine-under after four rounds.

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