The Tshwane Open | Thursday 12 March - Sunday 15 March | Pretoria Country Club
The European Tour’s stint in South Africa comes to a conclusion this week and most of this field will be looking forward to this event as they head away from the coast to Pretoria. Traditionally this event has been played at Copperleaf Golf Club but this time around it will be hosted at the Pretoria Country Club, a course which not many of the internationals participating will be familiar with. Measuring a mere 7,000 yards, the course plays short and with the increased elevation players will be looking forward to hitting the ball a mile and taking advantage of the short layout. This is easier said than done though, as tight fairways are lined with thick rough and trees waiting to swallow wayward tee shots. There aren’t many water hazards so the occasional wayward approach will be forgiven but those that are in play are strategically located, as are the pot bunkers.
Solid course management will go a long way in helping keep scores low as knowing when to go for it and when to hold back will be one of the biggest assets this week. With the lack of serious challenges facing players in getting to the green, it seems like this will be won and lost with the putter so keep an eye on players who rank highly in putting stats. Overall this should be an intriguing contest and a fine way to end what has been an entertaining South African leg of the Tour. So who will win in Pretoria this week? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
Ross Fisher 14/1
Andy Sullivan 16/1
Jaco Van Zyl 16/1
George Fisher 18/1
Byeong-Hun Am 22/1
Adilson da Silva (80/1 a win, 17/1 a place)
This week accuracy off the tee is going to be a huge asset and there aren’t many players in this field who are better at finding the fairway than Brazilian Adilson Da Silva. He’s generally a player who slips under the radar but against this field and at odds of 80/1 he looks a great value bet. He has a fair amount of experience playing in South Africa and will be comfortable playing in Pretoria, a part of the country he knows well. He’s been playing golf for longer than most and has participated in a few events hosted at the Pretoria Country Club, a factor that can only work to his benefit. Each way is the bet for me here.
Jaco van Zyl (16/1 a win, 7/2 a place)
Jaco van Zyl has been playing some great golf over the past few weeks but final day nerves constantly seem to get the better of him and he simply cannot capitalise. He is experienced enough to put that behind him though and if he can string four rounds together this week he’ll be in with a real chance in Pretoria. He’s accurate enough off the tee to avoid trouble and when his putter is working he makes a lot of birdies. He’ll realise that this may be one of the last real chances he has of winning this season and will be looking to make this tournament count. Each way is the bet.
Max Kieffer (55/1 a win, 12/1 a place)
Last week Maximilian Kieffer looked to be in great form and was rewarded with a rare Top 10 finish. That was the culmination of two months of great golf and his incredible second round showed that if he hits the ball well he has what it takes to capitalise and make birdies. Time will tell if he has the temperament to actually win a tournament but this week a Top 5 finish is well within his reach.
Trevor Fisher (28/1 a win, 62/10 a place)
After last week it was always going to be difficult to look further than Trevor Fisher and when I saw that he’s available at 28/1 it made the decision to back him that much easier. His golf was almost flawless in last week’s Africa Open and if he plays half as well here he’ll still be in with a shout. Another win will give him a huge lead in the Investec Cup and he’ll be well aware of that fact. Each way on Fisher is the bet for me here. Get on.