Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
The European Tour makes a welcome return this week and although a majority of the bigger names on the Tour are sitting the South African leg out, there are still a host of talented players to look out for at Glendower. Amongst these are the likes of Branden Grace and Andy Sullivan, both of whom impressed last year and after a cursory look at the betting it would appear that these two are going to be tough to beat. There are a few wild cards thrown into the mix though and amongst the more well-known local players are Ernie Els and Retief Goosen, both of whom would love a win in an event which, surprisingly, has never been won by a South African.
Moving on to a quick analysis of the location, Glendower Golf Club is a tight tree lined course which measures 7,500 yards but don’t let this fool you into thinking that big hitting is essential, at this altitude the ball travels a whole lot further than most golf fans are used to. Rather, focus needs to be on those players who will be able to avoid the numerous bunkers and water hazards which litter the course. If those can be taken out of play there really aren’t many challenges left and scores can be low. So will one of the locals finally do us proud and walk away the victor or will they be left on the sidelines as an imposter steals yet another trophy? Let’s have a look.
To Win Outright
Branden Grace: 33/10
Andy Sullivan: 8/1
Jaco van Zyl: 18/1
Gregory Bourdy: 22/1
Romain Wattel: 25/1
Lee Slattery (45/1 a win, 99/10 a place)
There are a number of international players competing this week and traditionally they have fared well here but this week it looks like Lee Slattery offers the most value of the lot. He’s incredibly accurate with his irons and will have no problem finding his share of greens in regulation. Add to that the fact that his putting has been top notch lately and you have a serious threat on your hands. He also finished third here last year and based on that performance can’t be left out. Oh, and one more thing, he’s been staying n the country for the past few months… If that doesn’t convince you he’s ready to face whatever is thrown his way this week nothing will. Each way on Slattery is the bet for me.
Gregory Bourdy (22/1 a win, 48/10 a place)
Gregory Bourdy is another player who loves playing in South Africa and although he has no course experience I can’t foresee him having any issues getting around Glendower. He is devastatingly accurate off the tee and can attack almost any pin with his irons and if he doesn’t arrive a bit rusty after the Christmas break he will pose a serious threat this week. His current form is solid and he hasn’t finished outside the Top 15 in his past four starts so keep a close eye on the Frenchman this week.
Hennie Otto (60/1 a win, 13/1 a place)
There are a host of aging local players priced up at around the 50/1 mark and of these Hennie Otto looks to offer the most value. Traditionally he has done well in this event and has a Top 5 and Top 15 finish to his name in recent years. He won the BMG Classic which was hosted here two years ago and I’m hoping he shows it again this week with a Top 5 finish at least. Each way on Otto is the bet for me.
Branden Grace (33/1 a win, 7/10 a place)
Branden Grace is certainly the form player in the field and despite the fact that he is priced up at such short odds, he can’t be left out this week. He’s currently ranked inside the top 15 in the world and was one of the most consistent players on the Tour last year and if he gets this year underway anything like he closed last year, he’ll be tough to beat. This is one of the easier fields Grace will compete against this year and he’ll know a win here will go a long way in improving his ranking, so he’ll certainly be motivated to finish high up the leaderboard. Places hardly seem worth it, I’m doubling my usual stake on the win.
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