Padraig Harrington and Tiger Woods wants to erase the memories of disappointing seasons with wins this week.
The Dubliner, 39, limped away from the European Tour’s season-ending Dubai World Championship wishing his closing 76 had been his last round of the year.
But he quickly admitted that having the chance to end 2010 with a $1m win at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City has made it easier to travel all the way to South Africa.
Guaranteed $35,000 just to tee it up in the 12-man field at Sun City, Harrington said: “Some part of me was wishing it was the last round of the year in Dubai. But then, obviously, finishing that way, I’m quite happy to get out in Sun City and have another go as well.”
Woods wants to finish a forgettable 2010 campaign with a consolation victory in his annual, $5.5 million Chevron World Challenge in Los Angeles.
After a year of scandals off the course, golf’s fallen idol failed to continue his streak of grabbing least one official tour win since he turned professional in 1996.
The 18-man field at Sherwood Country Club includes Ulstermen Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy, who have been paired together for today’s first round.
But despite his fall from grace and the end of his marriage to Elin Nordegren, Woods insisted that 2010 has been a rewarding year for him personally whatever happens this week.
Woods said: “As a golfer I learned so much more this year than any other year, and as a person infinitely more.
“So it has been a very successful year, even though it was a very painful year, as well.”
Harrington had a year to forget in the big events as he missed the cut in the Masters, the Open and the US PGA and needed a Ryder Cup wildcard from skipper Colin Montgomerie.
But having ended his two-year victory drought with a win in Malaysia in October and recorded another eight top-10 finishes from 26 starts, he insists that he has no doubts about his game or the future.
Looking on the bright side, Harrington said: “I’m not walking away from this season scratching my head at all. I’m very clear about what I need to do and that’s why I’m optimistic.
“I’m very clear about what parts of my game need to be worked on and how they need to be worked on.
“The main thing I’ll be working on is how I practice rather than what I practice. Try and get a bit more competitive and in game mode rather than rote practice.”
Harrington will tee it up with Dane Anders Hansen in a 12-man Sun City event that also features world No 1 Lee Westwood and European stars Ross Fisher, Edoardo Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Justin Rose.
Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, fellow South Africans Ernie Els and Retief Goosen and Aussie ace Robert Allenby round out the field.
Westwood could lose his world No 1 ranking to Tiger Woods if the American wins for the first time this year in his season ending Chevron World Challenge in Los Angeles.
But he’s determined to end his year with a win and insisted that being world No 1 did not make he feel pressure.
Westwood said: “I’d love to win here, It’s somewhere I’ve always enjoyed coming to.
“Being the number one in the world comes as a consequence of playing well, so if you think playing well’s going to create more pressure then you’re probably doing the wrong job.”