Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: European/Sunshine Tour - Alfred Dunhill Championship Preview

European/Sunshine Tour - Alfred Dunhill Championship Preview

European/Sunshine Tour - Alfred Dunhill Championship Preview

Damien Kayat takes a look at this week's Alfred Dunhill Championship Preview taking place this week at Leopard Creek Country Club. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

JB Hansen defied a host of local challengers in capturing last week’s title in Johannesburg. This second leg of the South African swing will see players head to the gorgeous Leopard Creek Country Club. This event should see players even more desperately clamouring for those precious Race to Dubai points. This event was first staged at Houghton Golf Club back in 2000. It made its permanent move to picturesque Leopard Creek in 2004. That season saw two instalments of the event due to a scheduling change. This European Tour season will also see two Alfred Dunhill Championships, with the Covid pandemic necessitating a rejigged European Tour schedule. 

Perhaps one of the most iconic perennial courses played on the European Tour, Leopard Creek is a formidable test of golf. Located on the hinterlands of the Kruger National Park, Leopard Creek is a predominately Bermuda track with firm, undulating fairways. Bunkers were certainly brought back into play with the 2018 overhaul (the much firmer fairways require far greater precision now). Larrazabal held on last year to win in an uncharacteristically high total of -8. This Gary Player design will require accurate approach play and creative scrambling. Though Harry the Hippo is sadly no longer with us, savvy camera operators will still be able to spot a wide array of beautiful wildlife

Who can forget Pablo Larrazabal’s victory exactly one year ago? It had all the hallmarks of a Greek tragedy. He shot a dreadful 41 on the front nine, enduring the indignity of insufferable blisters. But a heroic back nine saw him miraculously claw back the title. Can the mercurial Spaniard make it back-to-back titles? 2016 champion Brandon Stone leads the markets in a fairly poor turnout (the Covid pandemic clearly had an impact on the marquee South African players). Christiaan Bezuidenhout was just OK last week and will be looking for a far better showing to justify his price. Robert Macintyre should feel well-rested after taking a brief sojourn following his win in Cyprus. Elsewhere, the likes of George Coetzee and Wilco Nienaber certainly stand out in this field. 

Past Winners
2019: Pablo Larrazabal (-8)
2018: David Lipsky (-14)
2017: no event
2016: Brandon Stone (-21)
2015: Branden Grace (-20)

To Win Outright:
Brandon Stone 12/1 | Robert Macintyre 14/1 | Christiaan Bezuidenhout 18/1 | Eddie Pepperell 22/1 | Wilco Nienaber 22/1 

Value Bets

Pablo Larrazabal: To Win 45/1 | To Place 19/2
These look like favourable odds for the defending champion. While the Spaniard hasn’t been in electrifying form, he has still made 13 of his last 15 cuts (that includes respectable finishes of T24 and T27 in two of his last three outings). Larrazabal also has another top 10 at Leopard Creek prior to last year’s victory. The five-time European Tour winner has also shown a proclivity for winning an event multiple times: he has won the BMW International Open twice. 

Jamie Donaldson: To Win 45/1 | To Place 19/1
Former Ryder Cupper Jamie Donaldson recently had a couple of brilliant performances in Cyprus, setting him up for a strong end of season. He will be looking to sneak into the Race to Dubai top 60. Two top 10’s and a top 20 in his last four starts augers well for the Welshman’s chances this week. He also seems to have the perfect game for this course. He currently ranks 19th for Driving Accuracy and 10th for Greens in Regulation. Perhaps most importantly, he currently sits 1st on tour in scrambling. He tends to thrive on stern tests and should enjoy this week. 

The Man to Beat: Brandon Stone: To Win 12/1 | To Place 26/10
I hate to play favourites, but this field opens itself up to a top-of-the-table winner. Stone is a Leopard Creek alumnus of the highest order. Stone finished 18th on debut in 2015 before a remarkable 2016 victory. He won by seven shots, leaving the likes of Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and Matt Wallace in his wake. In 2017 he sat in 3rd place going into Sunday, only for a triple bogey at the 9th hole to scupper his chances. Stone topped the tee-to-green stats last week in Joburg, ultimately finishing in 4th. Four of his last five events have resulted in top 20 finishes. 

Written by Damien Kayat.

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