South African Open Tips

South African Open Betting Tips

South African Open Golf Betting Tips

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Rob Cobley’s Mayakoba Golf Classic Betting Tips

Wilco Nienaber - 16/1 To Win Zander Lombard - 55/1 To Win

The Course

The Gary Player Country Club - Sun City, South Africa - Par 72, 7,827 Yards

The South African swing of the European Tour continues this week at the beautiful Gary Player Country Club near the city of Pretoria in South Africa. Designed in 1979, and undisputedly Player's best work, the course is set amongst stunning wildlife against the backdrop of the Sun City Resort and brings together a strong local field. This course has typically hosted the Nedbank Golf Challenge, but in its absence in the 2020 schedule provides a fantastic backdrop to the South African Open. Past winners here include the likes of Ballesteros, Faldo, Els, and Garcia. From a betting perspective, it's not usually prudent to look too far down the market here as very few "average" players have ever enjoyed success at Sun City.

The course itself is brutishly long. On paper, it registers over 7,800 yards, but with the altitude (nearly 4,000 feet above sea level), the actual distance is likely far closer to a manageable 7,500 yards as the ball flies over 4% further at that height. Geographically, this is a mostly flat, bush lined course with over 500 bunkers and numerous mounds that can trap the players should they stray from the fairways. The mounds and swales are not the only dangers, however, with the thick Kikuyu rough some of the most penal in golf due to its high density. This will wrap the clubs up at impact affecting both power and accuracy. The players must keep the ball straight this week.

From the tee, the length is a substantial factor. Previous winners, such as recent three-time Nedbank champion Lee Westwood, and 2016 winner Alex Noren are renowned for their long and straight driving. The approach shots are typically flat and easy, albeit to small well-bunkered putting surfaces. The keys to success here are to drive the ball long and straight, and for the putter to get hot. The winning score is typically around 20 under par, and only first-class ball strikers will contend this week.

Last Five Winners:

Year Winner Score
2019 Branden Grace -21
2018 Louis Oosthuizen -18
2017 Chris Paisley -21
2016 Graeme Storm -18
2015 Brandon Stone -14

The Market Leaders

At the top of a market which is almost exclusively dominated by South African talent, young Christiaan Bezuidenhout (7/1) takes the top spot following his impressive win at last week's Alfred Dunhill Championship. It was an impressive all-round week from Christiaan. He had been struggling with his game before showing flashes of improvement in Joburg before successfully winning last week at Leopard Creek. This week is less suited to him with the course length being nearly 1000 yards longer once altitude is factored in. Bezuidenhout has played this event the last two years and missed both cuts and, despite his solid form and the slightly weaker field, I don't expect him to get over the line here and will be leaving him out of my selections.

Dylan Frittelli (8/1) arrives from the US on the back of an awe-inspiring debut at The Masters where he finished 5th. That performance should not be overlooked this week at a venue that has seen many successes from players who have gone well in Georgia. The challenge is a similarly long and undulating course where the key is on taking advantage of the par 5s to head towards a low number, and that is exactly what Frittelli did three weeks ago. His record on this course is surprisingly poor with three missed cuts from five events, but if he brings his Masters form he will be hard to stop, and I would suggest he should be the market favourite.

Next, we have Brandon Stone (16/1) who won this event in 2015, and won on this course in 2016. His form has been good with a 4th at Randpark followed up by a 23rd last week. I would take the form on the former event to more closely correlate to Sun City and give him a chance, although the price seems short. Wilco Nienaber (16/1) put a poor start behind him last week and managed a 12th placed finish. The young man from Cape Town looks to be the in-form player in the field for me, and the course should set up correctly for a player who drives the ball nearly 400 yards and hits his wedges over 170.

Rob’s Golf Betting Tips

Headline Betting Tip

Wilco Nienaber: 16/1 To Win

I have decided to keep faith with young talent Nienaber following on from his fantastic showings over the last couple of weeks as he arrives at a course that should suit his game perfectly. Wilco hits the ball long and straight, has a lovely high ball flight, and should be able to counter the challenges posed by the Sun City venue as well as anybody in the field.

There are significant challenges from the tee, mostly bush, but also thick forest and lakes that make an accurate long game essential. Given his superior length, Wilco will not need to be hitting driver on a lot of the holes, and it will give him a strong advantage in terms of keeping the ball in play. Another plus to his game is his extraordinary length gives him the edge on par 5s, and par five scoring is the most important statistic around the Gary Player CC. There are four par 5s (and two par 4s over 500 yards) where this will come into play; one-third of the course). His putting and short game have been excellent and, but for a poor opening round, he would have been right in contention last week. I am more than happy to back him at this price with 6 points win at 16/1.

Other Tips

Zander Lombard: 55/1 To Win

Zander Lombard was very disappointing last week when trying to build on his excellent showing at Randpark. He started poorly and never really recovered his game enough to contend, eventually missing the cut. That couple of days off and the short travel distance to Sun City has hopefully given Zander some time to gather both his game and his composure ready for this week's event. His record at Sun City is generally poor, albeit in much stronger fields and I can see him putting that aside this week and using his length to push into the higher echelons where someone with his level of talent deserves to be.

Distance control appeared to be an issue last week for Zander, but being closer to sea level with less unpredictability in ball flight will surely help him. If he has a good week on the greens, this price could be enormous. I have had 2 points e/w at 55/1.

2020 P&L

Following a rolling profit of 463 points in 2019, I am looking for an even better 2020. Each week I will pick between 2 to 4 selections at each event on the European and PGA Tours, and suggest a suitable staking plan.

Tour Points
European Tour -174 points
PGA Tour +44 points
Total -130 points