Richard Sterne spearheads a four-pronged betting attack on the Joburg Open.
After Brandon Stone's impressive maiden victory last week the tour rolls onto Joburg for what is always a top tournament to watch. The event takes place on the East and West courses at Royal Johannesburg. Each player will play the West course once over the first two days then the East will host the weekends shenanigans. The West course is the easier of the two and a failure to post a decent score there over the first two days will be a major blow to anyone's chances.
Jaco Van Zyl was disappointing in the end last week after a good start to the event. He had little excuses and this week he turns up to Johannesburg with better chances on a course which will suit his game a shade more than last week. I am reluctant to pass him up but with the spurned opportunities mounting I can't have a serious bet on him this week. At the time of writing I am still unsure whether to have a stake saver on him at the end. I'll see how I feel after penning a few more paragraphs. Brandon Stone turns up hoping for a second win in so many weeks and with the talent this lad has we can't rule him out. He was impressively tenacious last week after looking to have thrown the event away spurning a four shot lead early in the final round. He rallied to produce some great golf on the closing holes and more than deserved his victory. His price of 25/1 in this field may prove to be value, but I'll take a watching brief on the 22 year old for the time being.
With a few glimpses of form last week there is a couple of South Africans worth siding with who have decent form around these layouts. First up we have Richard Sterne
. He looked like missing the cut comfortably last week before going 7 under for 8 holes deep into the second round. With a 67 on day 3 he set up a potential challenge but that failed to materialise. Anyhow, a few positives to come out of the week despite an unspectacular finish. He lands in Johannesburg with wins here in 2013 and 2008. A hat trick of wins can not be ruled out and at 30/1 we are more than prepared to take the risk.
Six out of nine of these events have been won by South Africans and our primary focus will be on them this week. Sterne took a few weeks out in the States towards the end of last season and I admired his ambition. If he gets around the lead any time during this tournament he knows how to finish it off. He has four European tour wins in South Africa and rates as the best bet of the week.
Richard Sterne - 1.5pt e/w @ 30/1Lost -3pt
I backed the 1st and 2nd in this a few years back and I'm tempted to back both once again. I'll start with Justin Walters
who must be backed after a solid finish last week. He finished second to Coetzee here two years ago and I've always thought he has the potential to get over the line in one of his home events. A 4th placed finish last week sets him up for a decent week here with plenty of experience around this track I expect him to go well once again. I would have preferred a bigger price, there is little value in it. However, he is not without hope and a tournament like this represents a chance considering course and recent form.
Justin Walters - 1pt e/w @ 40/1Placed 3pt
I'm taking a chance backing George Coetzee
this week after his missed cut last week but around this track I have to support him. He was 11/1 when he won here a few years ago so at nearly treble those odds we'll take a chance on a golfer who has improved ten fold since then. With a win at the Tshwane Open last march he followed that up with a close call at the Trophee Hassan finishing third. He was definitely beginning to improve to another level when he notched a top ten finish in last years final major at Whistling Straits. He can drive the ball so erratically at times I marvel at how he still contends events. However around here he is like a different animal with one win and a couple of other top ten finishes.
His 2015 season was cut short not long after the PGA with injury and last week was his first outing since. The course last week played a lot tougher than I thought and finishing two shots off the cut mark after two days is no disaster. He will have enjoyed the gallop and has every chance of improving on two courses he loves. He has the ability to score on the tougher course which is key so we'll have to include him in our staking this week. A tasty price also.
George Coetzee - 1pt e/w @ 33/1Lost -2pt
We'll finish this week with last weeks runner up Christiaan Bezuidenhout
. Although Brandon Stone got the better of him on Sunday there was no doubting who looked like the more classy golfer of the two. Bezuidenhout did little wrong on Sunday and can be fancied to improve. While two back on the 18th fairway he fired his approach into five feet. That was a huge shot for the lad who had impressed all week with all aspects of his game. In 2014 Christiaan had the world at his feet as an amateur before before being sidelined for nine months due to being tested positive for a banned substance. Anyhow that is behind him and he showed himself to be a classy operator last week and although the value on him is thin on the ground we'll invest anyhow.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout - 0.75pt e/w @ 50/1Lost -1.5pt