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Home star Christiaan Bezuidenhout landed last week’s win pick and has the class and temperament to go back-to-back. Take him at +700 with bet365
Joost Luiten and Matthias Schwab are the two most likely overseas winners but the Dutchman has better form in SA and can win a 72-hole match at +100 bet365
Local Sunshine Tour player Neil Schietekat has won at this course and recently posted T11 at the Joburg Open; he can land another top 20 at +300 bet365.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout to win +700 at bet365
Joost Luiten to beat Matthias Schwab in a 72-hole match +100 at bet365
Neil Schietekat to land a top 20 at +300 with bet365
|South African Open Information|
|What||South African Open|
|Where||Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa|
|When||Thursday December 03 – Sunday December 06|
|How to Watch||Thursday 8.00am-11.00am ET (Golf Channel), Friday 6.00am-11.00pm (Golf Channel), Saturday 6.00am-10.30am (Golf Channel), Sunday 5.00am-9.30am (Golf Channel). All 4 days on Sky Sports|
After the Joburg Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship, the European Tour’s three-week South African Swing finishes in style. The South African Open has a long and storied history. In fact, it’s one of the oldest national championships in golf, having first been contested in 1903.
However, this is the first time the event will take place at the Gary Player Country Club. Player – one of the legends of the game – won this event an incredible 13 times and said in the build-up: “I can honestly say that never as a young man did I ever think the South African Open would be played on a golf course I had designed.”
The good news is that bettors have plenty of course form to lean on as Gary Player CC has been a regular stop on the European Tour, playing host to the annual Nedbank Golf Challenge. That event was canceled this year.
There is one subtle difference though. This week the two nines are reversed, a move that Player is fully behind. “That’s the most exciting thing about this year’s SA Open for me,” he said. “It’s actually how the golf course was originally designed. As it plays now, the 16th, 17th, and 18th make for a very tough finish.”
While some of Europe’s better players are taking part in the other ET event this week, the Golf in Dubai Championship which starts Wednesday, several stays in South Africa to contest this tournament.
Last week’s winner, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, looks to go back-to-back while the home contingent is boosted further by the presence of Dylan Frittelli, who finished tied fifth in The Masters.
Looking at the last six editions, three were won by South Africans while English golfers captured the other three.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout landed a +1600 payday for this column last week when capturing the Alfred Dunhill Championship. And I’m going to leave some chips on the table and take the South African to make it back-to-back home victories.
Actually, he’s trying to make it three out of four. How come? Well, Bezuidenhout also won the Dimension Data Pro-Am in February so he’s won two of his last three home-turf tourneys. True, that was a Sunshine Tour event but with the likes of Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace, and Erik van Rooyen not taking part, this isn’t much of a step up.
There are a few overseas raiders to deal with but Bezuidenhout should have the beating of them all if he repeats last week’s form when winning at Leopard Creek by four. His stats looked great through the bag there as he drove it straight (10th in Driving Accuracy), pelted lots of greens (2nd for Greens In Regulation), and rode a hot putter (2nd for Strokes Gained Putting).
Now, 41st in the world rankings, a Masters invite (top 50) should be in the mail soon and although we have to take a much shorter price this week, the cool and measured Bezuidenhout can still bring in some tasty profits.
With another European Tour event – the Golf in Dubai Championship – also taking place this week, many of the top Euros are heading to the Middle East.
Two strong players stay in South Africa to challenge for this title and they’re paired in a match bet. Joost Luiten is the dog at +100 but the Dutchman has more on his side. For starters, he’s been a highly-consistent performer in the Nedbank Golf Challenge played at this week’s course. Luiten has never posted worse than T27 and four of his six finishes were in the top 16.
They all came in far superior fields to this one and, after a pair of top 11s in late September/early October, he’ll be hoping to build some momentum after T31 in last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship. He has incentive too. Luiten is languishing at 78th in the Race to Dubai so needs a big finish to qualify for next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Schwab’s results have been pretty solid but his putting looks iffy and he doesn’t have the same bank of South African or hot-weather form possessed by his rival.
Take Luiten to get the better of Schwab over 72 holes at +100 with bet365.
The Gary Player Country Club is used regularly on the local Sunshine Tour so I’m going to take a player with superb form from the various events played at the par 72.
Neil Schietekat won the Sun City Challenge there in 2018, was sixth when defending in 2019, and also finished runner-up when the Gary Player venue hosted the recent Royal Swazi Open.
The South African didn’t make the cut at last week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship due to a poor start but he’d shown he could compete in a co-sanctioned tournament by taking T11 in the previous week’s Joburg Open.
Sure, he’s no world-beater but Schietekat doesn’t have to be in this field and is more than capable of landing a top 20 finish at +300.
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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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