Oosthuizen At The Ready For Alfred Dunhill
Alfred Dunhill Championship
The European Tour returns to South Africa for one of the biggest tournaments of the year: the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The Alfred Dunhill Championship is one of the main events on the Sunshine Tour and one of just four South African tournaments to be co-sanctioned by the European Tour. But with most of the top Europeans either starting their Christmas break early or competing at the Thailand Championships, this year’s renewal may not take much winning, and home players dominate the antepost betting market.
The Leopard Creek Country Club is one of the more exciting venues in world golf, situated right next to the Kruger National Park. The main hazards are the abundant water features, including the Crocodile River, which borders the thirteenth green. The course is a relatively short 6631 metres, so distance from the tee is not that important. Players who drive accurately and putt reliably will thrive there.
In The Bunker
Twelve months ago I opposed Charl Schwartzel at Leopard Creek, only to watch him win it for the third time, but I haven’t learned my lesson, because I’m taking him on again. Last year he did at least go into this event with a top five finish at the South African Open under his belt, but his form this time round is much worse. He was outside the top forty in Dubai and finished down the field at the Nedbank Challenge last week after shooting a third round 75. At 13/2 he’s just too short.
Louis Oosthuizen is Schwartzel’s main market rival, but he makes much more appeal than his compatriot as he goes to Leopard Creek in much better form.
He made the top fifteen at the HSBC Champions, finished sixth in Dubai and marked his return to South African soil with a good showing at the Nedbank Challenge, where he finished in a tie for seventh.
At odds of 8/1 he’s a solid bet this week.
After winning his first title in 2012, Danny Willett has had to wait two years for his second, but he earned it in some style last weekend, carding a final round 69 to clinch the Nedbank Challenge by a healthy four strokes. That was by far his biggest payday to date and no player will come into this tournament in better form or higher on confidence. Back him at 9/1 to pick up a third career win.
The final name to add to your shortlist is another South African, Branden Grace. He hasn’t built on the achievements of his breakthrough year in 2012, but he is still a young player with a lot of potential and he heads to Leopard Creek in decent form. He made the top twenty at the BMW Masters and the Turkish Airlines Open, cracked the top ten in Dubai and warmed up for this event with a solid performance at the Cape Town Open, including a second round 64. At 20/1 he offers plenty of value.