The odds for this tournament are provided by Caesars Sportsbook. Click on the odds below to head to Caesars Sportsbook and place a bet.
|Daniel Van Tonder||+3300
George Coetzee has a strong record in his homeland and is rounding into form again. Back the South African local for the win at +3300 Caesars Sportsbook.
Richard Bland lost a play-off to Viktor Hovland in Dubai and can win a 72-hole match (-115 DraftKings Sportsbook) with Laurie Canter, who hasn’t had a top 20 this season.
Red-hot JC Ritchie has two wins in his last three starts on the Sunshine Tour and is worth a bet to crack the top 10 at +400 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
South Africa has been a go-to destination for the DP World (formerly European) Tour in the months when it’s too cold to host competitive golf in mainland Europe.
In recent years it has staged several events before the Christmas break but this time the usual schedule was thrown into chaos when South Africa saw the first outbreaks of the newly-discovered Omicron variant.
The plan was for South Africa to stage the Joburg Open, South African Open, and Alfred Dunhill Championship across November and December.
But Joburg was reduced to 36 holes, the SA Open was played as a local Sunshine Tour event and the Alfred Dunhill Championship got canceled.
However, a peak at the schedule meant South African golf fans could still get to see DP World Tour action if the pandemic settled down and here we are: this week’s MyGolfLife Open followed by the Steyn City Championship, starting March 17.
The MyGolfLife Open is a new event played on a new course: Pecanwood G&CC.
That usually gives punters a headache but we have two obvious clues to take on board this week.
First, Pecanwood is a Jack Nicklaus design that allows us to bring in correlating course form.
Second, although it looks long at nearly 7,700 yards from the tips, the course is not far north from Johannesburg and that means it’s high up so the ball will fly further in the thin air.
As for the grass, the fairways are Kikuyu and the putting surfaces are Bent.
Water is in play on seven holes of a fairly flat layout that features generous fairways.
George Coetzee is always one of the local contingent worth looking at in any event played in South Africa.
The 35-year-old certainly stands out in this modest field due to being a five-time European Tour winner and three of those came in co-sanctioned events on his home SA turf.
A quick geography lesson: while we’re not far from Joburg this week, the location is even nearer to Pretoria where Coetzee was born and bred.
Indeed he once contested a Sunshine Tour event at Pecanwood, finishing tied 12th back in 2007. It seems likely he will have played it in social situations too and he’s used to the altitude.
While he’s been off the radar a little in the last couple of years, I like the progressive nature of Coetzee’s current form.
He was tied 47th in the Dubai Desert Classic in January and last month improved to tied 27th in the Ras al Khaimah Championship and followed that with tied ninth at the Ras al Khaimah Classic.
As for form on other Nicklaus designs, Coetzee was runner-up and tied 10th in two starts in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
That helps add to his credentials but perhaps the main one is just how well he plays at home.
Coetzee has two wins from his last seven starts on South African soil and, if stretching further back, four in his last 20. That run includes two-second places.
Always an excellent putter, let’s back Coetzee for the win at +3300 with Caesars Sportsbook.
We continued our good run in 72-hole match bets last time when, for the second week running, the guy we opposed missed the cut.
That was Zander Lombard and, even if he’d made it through, the local man would have had to go some to take down our pick Oliver Bekker, who finished tied eighth.
This week my focus is on the all-English battle between Richard Bland and Laurie Canter and it’s the former I’ll take for the win.
Bland, now 49, is enjoying the best days of his long career.
Last year he finally posted his first European Tour win when landing the Betfred British Masters and last month he had a brilliant run at the Dubai Desert Classic before losing in a play-off to current World No. 3 Viktor Hovland.
Bland had a little dip post-Dubai but didn’t do a lot wrong in terms of round scores in the two Ras al Khaimah events, never shooting higher than 72.
South Africa looks like a good place for him to return to something near his best.
Two of his last three trips to the country have resulted in a second-place at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and a seventh at the Joburg Open.
Bland also has some useful form on Nicklaus layouts, a third at the London Club (Cazoo Classic) and a fourth at Mount Juliet (Irish Open).
Canter had an excellent finish to 2021 but he’s not logged a top 20 in five starts in 2022.
In addition, he’s missed his last three cuts on South African soil, two of those coming in local Sunshine Tour events.
Canter looks to be a fine player in the making but, for now, Bland has the edge.
Head to DraftKings and back Bland to beat Canter over 72 holes in a -115 pick ‘em.
For this week’s top 10 bet, I’ll go for one of the Sunshine Tour’s real form horses.
JC Ritchie had a February to remember after finishing fourth in the Dimension Data Pro-Am and then reeling off back-to-back victories in the Cape Town Open and the Jonsson Workwear Open.
He followed that up with tied 14th in last week’s Mangaung Open.
Looking at his stats, he’s driving it long and straight, hitting his irons well and has a hot putter: not a bad recipe!
Even though there is a sprinkling of decent Euros in the field, Ritchie is still worth a punt at +400 with DraftKings Sportsbook to crack the top 10.
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|Location||Pecanwood G&CC, Hartbeespoort, South Africa|
|Time||Thursday March 10 – Sunday March 13|
|How to Watch||All 4 days on Sky Sports|
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Dave Tindall is former golf editor at SkySports.com and Golf365.com and has been writing betting previews for the PGA Tour and European Tour since 1997. He has also written for a range of betting companies, including William Hill and Betfair, as well as being a regular columnist for Rotoworld, The Guardian, Sporting Life and Planet Sport. His other area of speciality is football while he's also covered cricket and tennis.
Email: [email protected]More info on Dave Tindall
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