Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Monkey Business in Durban

This week sees the resumption of the European Tour as 37 players tee it up for the Volvo Champions at the Durban CC in South Africa, an event open to all winners on the previous seasons tour plus last year’s previous winner Branden Grace. Those under 50 years of age with 10 wins or more are also eligible which means Ireland’s Padraig Harrington will also be playing. Charl Schwartzel is raging hot favourite with the bookies this week and its easy to see why as he has won the majority of his titles at this time of the year in his homeland and is definitely the one to beat following his victory at Leopard Creek last month. But at best price 4/1 there is no value in backing him.
This course is very close to Mount Edgecombe where the Nelson Mandela Championship was played and like that event before Christmas, this area is susceptible to adverse weather at this time of year and this weeks tournament may be rain affected. It’s a short course where precision off the tee is vital and it’s a course that will suit wind players with an accuracy game to boot. 

With the above factors taken into account my value bets for this week lie with Paul Casey, Matteo Manassero and Brett Rumford.

Casey, winner of last years Irish Open has a strong affinity with Volvo sponsored tournaments and has excellent form in this event with a win two years ago. Another to recently get engaged, he could surprise this week at a decent price of 30/1 with Betpack.

Manassero was 9th last year and his game should be well suited to scoring here. With length not an issue this week, the Italian who is not averse to winning is real value in this reduced field @ 33/1 with Skybet.


Brett Rumford is a player that can excel in the wind and can get hot with the putter if in the mood. No course form to go on but a win at Baltray in the past and recent TOP 10 in Perth, indicate if the wind does blow this week he can compete and the 2-time winner on tour last year is way over priced in my opinion @ 100/1 with Betpack.

Staking Plan :

1 pt e/w P.Casey @ 30/1 Betpack

1 pt e/w M. Manassero @ 33/1 Skybet

0.5 pts e/w B. Rumford @ 100/1 Betpack