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Sun City looking to get ranking status back

The organisers of the Million Dollar Challenge will be seeking to have the event's world rankings status reinstated in February, thereby ensuring the tournament's survival.

The International Federation of PGA Tours has decreed that next year's Million Dollar Challenge, a 12-man invitation tournament offering $1 million as first prize, be classified as a "special event".

Under that banner the tournament would no longer count towards the world rankings.

That would almost certainly threaten its survival when other tournaments, such as the World Golf Championship, would have a stronger hand to lure the world's best players away from Sun City.

Representatives from Sun International, the owners of the Million Dollar Challenge, will meet the International Federation of PGA Tours in February to argue their case.

"Our goal is to eliminate the threat from each of the other events around the world by, after negotiations with our major sponsors, putting together a package in January 2000 that makes us the number one invitation event in the world," said Sun International official Philip Georgas.

Georgas also hinted at a restructuring of the prize money.

"We would be foolish if we didn't have substantial guarantees for the players all the way down to number 12 in the field," he said.