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PREVIEW: 2022 DP World Tour – Steyn City Championship

Damien Kayat previews the inaugural edition of the DP World Tour’s Steyn City Championship taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Steyn City Championship

Damien Kayat previews the inaugural edition of the DP World Tour's Steyn City Championship taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Steyn City Championship

2021/2022 DP World Tour Championship – Sunshine Tour
Steyn City Championship
The Club at Steyn City, Johannesburg, South Africa
17th-20th March

DP World Tour stays in South Africa

This will be the second consecutive event co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour Championship and Sunshine Tour. Last week’s event at Pecanwood turned into a turkey-shoot, with five players finishing at 20-under or better.

The three-man playoff provided plenty of excitement, with the effervescent Pablo Larrazabal winning his 2nd European title on South African soil. It was a veritable blockbuster compared to November’s farcical Joburg Open.

The event will move just a bit south to tee it up in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. This is a brand new co-sanctioned event that will feature an almost identical field to last week’s MyGolfLife Open.

It may get slightly more traction this week with the Players Championship done and dusted (here’s to hoping).

Steyn City makes its DP World Tour debut

The DP World Tour moves to a new venue this week: the Club at Steyn City. This will be the 2nd time that this Jack Nicklaus design will host a Sunshine Tour event. In March 2018 it hosted the 54-hole Steyn City Team Championship.

So, not exactly a wealth of data to mine for your average prognosticator. But I think it won’t play much different to last week’s Nicklaus design: Pecanwood.

This is another beast that measures over 7,700 yards (though altitude will see it play significantly shorter). The fairways are generous though this course is far more hilly than last week’s layout.

Water is in play on seven holes. I would fancy the bombers this week, with little dense vegetation out there to worry about. And just look at last week’s leaderboard. Arnaus, Smith, Langasque and Fisher are bombers who overpowered Pecanwood.

Larrazabal just managed to pull off something miraculous on the putting surfaces. Expect big-hitters to prosper this week.

Field virtually unchanged from last week

As I noted earlier, this line-up has a very similar feel that that of last week. I wouldn’t be keen to back Larrazabal to make it an SA double.

There just hasn’t been much recent evidence of players claiming dual success in these closely related, back-to-back events. I would be keen to look at players with decent South African form.

Bombers like Dean Burmester and Adri Arnaus should be the ones to prosper this week. The English pair of Marcus Armitage and Laurie Canter have also proven to be highly consistent of late.

Past Winners

First staging of the event

To Win Outright:

Dean Burmester 14/1 | Jordan Smith 16/1 | Adri Arnaus 16/1 | George Coetzee 20/1 | Pablo Larrazabal 22/1

Value Bets

Matthieu Pavon- To Win 30/1 | To Place 13/2

If it wasn’t for a third-round 73 last week, Matthieu Pavon would have picked up his fourth top 10 in four starts. In fact, that 73 was his first round of over 72 in seven completed tournaments. He just seems to be on the precipice of a maiden victory. He finished runner-up in Portugal four months back and 3rd as Ras al Khaimah just six weeks ago. Pavon just continues to impress on a variety of tracks and he looks a nice price compared to the likes of Arnaus and Smith.

Ross Fisher- To Win 45/1 | To Place 19/2

Five-time DP World Tour winner hasn’t won a title since 2014. But he does seem to be in a rich vein of form, with back-to-back top-six finishes. He finished runner-up at the Khaimah Classic and T6 at last week’s event. These events were both low-scoring affairs and that will likely be the case this year. Of Fisher’s five previous victories, three of them ended with scores of 18-under or better. He is a big-hitter who has tasted success in South Africa before, claiming the Tshwane Open in Joburg at altitude.

The Player to Beat- Marcus Armitage- To Win 25/1 | To Place 11/2

I just have to opt for this big-hitting guy from Salford. Armitage only finished five shots out of a playoff place last week. He won his maiden DP World Tour title at last year’s European Open. And he has been an exemplar of consistency this year. After a 12th place in Dubai, he was 9th at the Ras Classic, 17th in Kenya and 11th last time out. He also happens to be something of a South African golfing aficionado. He finished 5th in the 2017 Joburg Open, 3rd in the 2020 SA Open and 9th in last year’s Alfred Dunhill. He just needs to iron out some of his short-game kinks.

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