The Joburg Open 2016 Preview

Written by Matt Cee for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

The Joburg Open | 14 January - 17 January | Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club

The European Tour remains in South Africa this week and this time around we’re heading to Johannesburg for the Joburg Open. Last week we saw a strong showing from the local players and this week it looks like we can expect much of the same as a majority of those participating last week will be competing at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. The event, which is played on both the East and West courses, is arguably the biggest annual professional golf event in the country and the quality of golf on offer has always been top notch.

The East course is ranked in the Top 10 courses in the country and offers a true test to golfers. Tight, tree-lined fairways, often prove difficult to hit, and thick rough and an abundance of hazards ensure those wayward tee shots, as well as any mishit approaches, are punished. Here accuracy is favoured over distance so keep an eye on those who hit the ball straight. The West course plays easier, although you can be certain that this week it will be set up to create some serious challenges, and booming drives are the order of the day. Whilst more fairways will be hit here than on the East course keep an eye on players who are accurate with their irons because it can almost be guarenteed that pin position will be difficult through all four days. Landing it on the green and close to the pin will be invaluable, as will putting ability. So who has the all round game to do well on both layouts and walk away the victor? Let’s have a look.

To Win Outright
Jaco van Zyl: 12/1
Brandon Stone: 20/1
Ricardo Gouveia: 20/1
Tyrell Hatton: 22/1 
Anthony Wall: 25/1

Justin Walters (35/1 a win, 77/10 a place)
Justin Walters has always been a player to keep an eye on in this event and this week he looks to be a promising each way bet, despite the fact that he is priced up at a fraction of the price he was available at last year. That is due in part to his performance last week where he consistency saw him finish inside the Top 5, a finish which will no doubt inspire confidence in the Joburg local. Last week, Walters seems to be lacking that edge that could have seen him go all the way but I’m certain a Top 5 finish is within his grasp again this week.

Richard Sterne (25/1 a win, 11/2 a place)
Richard Sterne loves this event and although he isn’t playing as well as he has in the past, he’s certainly worth an each way bet at this price. He’s won here twice and I’m hoping that gives him enough confidence to move past the fact that last year he missed the cut in almost every event he played on the PGA Tour. He’ll be more confident against this weaker field though and can’t be ignored. Each way is the bet for me.

George Coetzee (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
George Coetzee missed the cut last week in the SA Open but I’m hoping that he was just rusty after coming back from a break and that this week he finds his swing again. He’s another South African who has won here in the past and after seeing how he played towards the end of last year I have a feeling that he will go close again this week. Expect to see him go really low on the West course and if he manages to pull that off, all he’ll need to do is make sure that he plays consistently on the East course. Each way on Coetzee is my next tip.

Jaco van Zyl (12/1 a win, 26/10 a place)
Jaco van Zyl is the firm favourite this week and for good reason as he certainly seems to be the form player in the field. I’m of the opinion that had he not had a shocker in the second round of the SA Open we could very well have seen him walk away the winner last week but golf is a game of four rounds though so that is no excuse. If he can avoid slipping up like that again there’s no reason he won't do well this week as his iron play, driving and putting are all in great shape at the moment and he should have no problem getting around either if these courses.

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