Venue: Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa
Date: November 8-11, 2018
Course stats: Par 72, 7,831 yards
Purse: $7.5 million (£5.7m)
Defending champion: Branden Grace (-11)

TV coverage

Thursday: Sky Sports Golf – from 8am
Friday: Sky Sports Golf – from 8am
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf – from 8am
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf – from 8am

Nedbank Golf Challenge preview

The Nedbank Golf Challenge continues its role as the penultimate event of the European Tour season, with some of the world’s best players flocking to the Gary Player CC at Sun City.

Indeed, Rory McIlroy makes his first start since Ryder Cup victory and assumes the position of tournament favourite, narrowly edging out Sergio Garcia, who’s fresh off his 15th European Tour title at Valderrama.

Despite altitude playing a factor, the Gary Player CC is a beast of a course. Coming in at over 7,800 yards, it’s clear that this is a ball striker’s paradise. Winners on this layout include the likes of Garcia, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson – players that exude control from tee-to-green.

Just 11-under-par was good enough 12 months ago when home favourite Branden Grace edged out Scott Jamieson in a thrilling finale. Often referred to as Africa’s major, the home players are desperate to add this title to their CVs.

Nedbank Golf Challenge betting tips

Matt Wallace WITB

Can Matt Wallace (50/1, 5 places) claim his fourth title of the season? While the Englishman isn’t in the best form, we have seen over the past eight months that he can produce a performance out of nowhere.

His first win of the season in India came off the back of a T19, he then went on to win the BMW International Open after a 51st at the Italian Open followed by a missed cut at the US Open, and his most recent win at the Made in Denmark came after a 36th in a very weak field in the Czech Republic.

The point is, Wallace doesn’t need to be in good form to win events and, when he does get a sniff at the top of the leaderboard, he is usually very reliable. What’s more, Wallace put in the best putting performance in the field last year at this event on his first look at the course, and he’s already a winner on a Gary Player design at the Hero Indian Open at DLF G&CC.

The 50/1 is simply too big for such a serial winner.

My other top tip is Martin Kaymer (40/1, 6 places) who sprung into life last week when finishing 5th in Turkey and he returns to a site where he’s enjoyed previous success.

The former World No. 1 won here in 2012, finished 8th the year before, and just last year he bagged a top 5 when he was also in poor form.

This is clearly a golf course that he enjoys playing and as he enters the week with some form, the quotes of 40/1 could look awfully big if he gets off to a nice start – after all, we know the German is a proven winner.

Those are my top tips from the Nedbank Golf Challenge betting markets. Be sure to check SBD for the latest odds and stories before you bet online. There’s a 200/1 outsider who’s catching my eye. Find out who it is on the next page…