|Charl Schwartzel Top 10 Finish||1/1||888Sport|
|Brandon Stone First Round Leader||33/1||888Sport|
|Scott Jamieson Top 10 Finish||11/1||888Sport|
|Gregory Bourdy Top 20 Finish||9/2||888Sport|
|Clark Dennis Each-Way at Indian Ocean Swing||8/1||Bet365|
The European Tour returns to Leopard Creek Country Club for the Alfred Dunhill Championship, one of the circuit’s favourite venues and this year the final hurrah before the Christmas and New Year break.
Most weeks you’d need pretty compelling evidence that a golfer was worth backing at a short price for a top 10, but this might be one of those instances. Charl Schwartzel spoke in wary fashion of the exact state of his game last week, even when leading through 36 holes. But he was talking distinctly of winning and he was proved correct – he once again drifted at the weekend, but only into third.
Throughout the history of the Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek his record is little short of sensational. In nine of 12 starts he has finished top four (that includes four wins and four seconds). Given his shaky confidence you might be wary of backing him for the win, but he can still put in a performance. He’s even-money to make the top 10 with 888Sport.
Brandon Stone has had to wait two years to defend his title, but it’s unlikely to be any less of an honour fro him. We know he can go low on the course because his last five laps there were a 66 or a 67. We also know he can very low because he thrashed a 60 on the way to winning this year’s Scottish Open. He was also last seen carding a 66 in the final round of last week’s South African Open and, moreover, whilst not an undefeated trend he has been known to follow a low final round with a good opener the following week. He’s 33/1 with 888Sport to be the First Round Leader.
Scott Jamieson’s return to tour life reaped nothing better than a missed cut last week in the South African Open, but his top ten price looks to be heavily weighted towards that one result and the fact we haven’t seen him since October.
This is a golfer who has two top fours from his seven course visits and seven top tens from 25 starts in South Africa. In actual fact he has held or shared the 54-hole lead in two of his last four starts in the country so his vibes about the place are good. His return last week started with a 76, he responded with a 70. Not good enough last week, but he’s had time to apply paint to the rust he knocked off and is 11/1 to make the top 10 with 888Sport.
Gregory Bourdy has lost his mojo in the last 18 months. The four-time winner on the European Tour went 13 campaigns without losing his card before dropping the ball last season. Late in the year he managed T11 in the Valderrama Masters and whilst it was not enough to save his playing rights, he spoke enthusiastically about it to the French press.
He earned an invite this week and he’ll be keen to rekindle an old flame because this is a course he has enjoyed success on in the past. In fact he’s managed four top 20s in six visits (he was third in 2012 and second in 2015). He’s now made four of his last five cuts and is 9/2 with 888Sport to add a top 20 this week.
For the final pick let’s look away from the main tour and head east into the middle of the sea for the conclusion of the Staysure Tour’s season-ending Indian Ocean Swing. The last two years have seen the American Clark Dennis emerge pretty much from nowhere, although way back in 1990 he finished tied third in the Hawaiian Open at Waialae and maybe that gave us a clue that he’d enjoy playing on an isolated tropical island. He finished fifth in Mauritius last year and won there last week.
Now the circuit heads north to the MCB Tour Championship – Seychelles and if anything the Constance Lemuria course plays even more to his strengths. It demands accuracy from the tees and comfort with grainy grass plus Dennis loves playing in the heat and humidity. The stats show that he has eleven top four finishes, four of them wins, from just 24 starts at this level. The track suits, he’s in great form and can be backed at 8/1 each-way with Bet365.