It’s an intriguing week on the European Tour as two events run side by side – the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship, which starts on Wednesday and finishes on Saturday, and the South African Open in the regular Thursday-Sunday slot. Both offer the same prize money and Race to Dubai points ahead of next week’s season-ending Tour Championship, so it’s certainly going to be interesting regardless of which side of the planet you’re on…
South African Open: The details
Venue: Gary Player CC, Sun City, South Africa
Date: December 3-6, 2020
Course stats: Par 72; 7,827 yards
Course summary: As the long time host of the Nedbank Challenge, this notoriously long course has become an iconic venue on the European Tour. In a heavily impacted calendar year, and with the 2020 Nedbank Challenge cancelled due to the COVID19 pandemic, the venue will now host the historic South African Open. This parkland track will pose plenty of questions to players, with narrow fairways and well-protected greens. Smaller than average bent grass surfaces will place further emphasis on strong approach play, and expert putting, with course experience being an important factor.
Purse: ZAR 19,500,00 ($1.2 Million)
Defending champion: Branden Grace (-21)
South African Open: TV coverage
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf and Main Event from 9am and again from 1pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 11am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 11am
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 10am
South African Open: Staking plan
Scott Jamieson – 2pt win @ 20/1 with bet365
Jamieson is a player that certainly knows how to play well in South Africa, with his sole European Tour win coming at the Nelson Mandela Championship in 2012. In more recent times Jamieson has an impressive series of results in the country, with a second place at the Nedbank Challenge on this course in 2017 and three top-5 finishes at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. A 6th place finish last week at Leopard Creek sees Jamieson arrive bang in form, and just on the periphery of the top 60 in the Race to Dubai. The Scotsman’s performance last week suggests he is primed and ready for this challenge, as he ranked 32nd for SG: Off-the-Tee and 1st for SG: Putting. With a place at next week’s season finale up for grabs, Jamieson will be looking for a strong finish this week and he represents great each-way value.
Richard Bland – 1.5pt e/w @ 35/1 with bet365
The consistent Englishman has had a typically steady run of form recently, with back-to-back top 10s in South Africa over the past two weeks. Bland also boasts four top 20s in his last five events, and has played just two over par rounds in his last 18. Looking at his performance when runner-up at Leopard Creek last week, Bland gained strokes in all areas apart from Off-the-Tee, ranking 4th for SG: Total in the field. A previous top 20 on this course in 2016 is encouraging, and after two excellent weeks in South Africa I am backing Bland to make it a hat-trick of top-10 finishes and push for his first European Tour win.
For more prices, visit bet365.