Louis De Jager 0.5 pts EW – 40/1 @ Betfair (7 places 1/5)
Richard Sterne 0.25 pts EW – 50/1 @ Betfred (6 places 1/5)
Anton Haig 0.5 pts Top 20 – 9/1 @ Skybet
It’s the turn of South Africa to host a 3 tournament swing on the European Tour with Randpark Golf Club hosting the opening event, the Joburg Open.
As is the norm when the Tour return to this part of the world there is a strong home contingent with an opportunity for the lesser lights on the Sunshine Tour to show off their skills.
With seven of the last nine winners coming from the Rainbow Nation it makes sense to stick with the locals, so my first pick is Louis De Jager. The 33 year old arrives in good form after finishing T9 in the Cyprus Showdown. Back in August he was T15 in the Wales Open and more recently he was T22 in the Italian Open. In between these two events he was a notable T4 in the Vodacom Championship on the Sunshine Tour.
De Jager’s strength is around the greens. He currently ranks 6th this season for Scrambling and in Cyprus he featured prominently for shots gained putting. With scoring typically low (circa -20) around the Randpark track a decent short game is likely to be key.
My second pick is an old favourite Richard Sterne. The man from Pretoria has six European Tour wins on his CV but has been plagued with injuries throughout his career. He has missed most of this season due to a wrist operation but has no doubt targeted a return to competition on home soil where he has a good record.
I’m encouraged that his odds have been cut on Bet365 from 50/1 to 45/1 so there must be somebody else out there that believes he can capture some of the form he showed early in the year, where he was 3rd (-22) to this weeks fav Christiaan Bezuidenhout in the Dimension Data Pro-Am.
My final selection is Anton Haig to finish in the Top 20. Haig finished 2nd earlier this month in the Time Square Casino Challenge on the Sunshine Tour with rounds of 65-71-66. Prior to this he has 4 more Top 20’s in 10 events, one of these being a T7 in a co-sanctioned event with the Challenge Tour that included a couple of 66’s. The South African has packed a lot into his 34 years including a European Tour win and early retirement due to ill health. However, he has since returned to the game and is obviously very talented with an ability to shoot low.