The South African Open contains a 67-strong field flush with home-grown talent and plenty of others vying to pick up the second-oldest National Open in golf, it’s just a case of guessing which one has the greatest claims.
Naturally, it would be hard to ignore this year’s host and five-time winner of the competition, Ernie Els at 14/1.
South Africa’s finest golfing export since the legendary Gar Player last claimed the trophy back in 2010, though it’s a lot to ask on his first appearance of the season, even for Ernie.
Unlike Els, this is a prize which has so far eluded market leader Charl Schwartzel, and at odds of 7/1 the former Masters champion should be avoided like an angry wasp.
An anonymous end to 2014’s proceedings has been followed by a mediocre start to 2015 for Schwartzel, where he’s only shot under 70 once in eight rounds thus far.
Of the leading trio, it is 8/1-shot Branden Grace who warrants a flutter thanks to his superb Alfred Dunhill Championship win on his first appearance of the new season in mid-December – which included a stunning first-round 62.
Last year’s winner Morten Orum Madsen holds a splash of attraction at 40/1 having triumphed at Glendower Golf Club, where the event moved to last time around, though the Dane has seldom rediscovered such form since.
Instead, we tip our cap in the direction of South African Hennie Otto at very pleasant odds of 20/1 given his affinity to the competition.
The 2011 winner has finished no lower than 22nd in his last three starts on the European Tour, so he ticks the form box.
But crucially, the seasoned campaigner has posted top 10s in his last two South Africa Open starts as well, finishing tied for second at Glendower last time.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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