Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Tshwane Open 2016 - Pretoria Golf Club

We head back to South Africa this week following a very successful Desert Swing where we saw Rickie Fowler,Brandon Grace and Danny Willett take the titles. Charl Schwartzel will make his season debut here following recent illness which forced him to withdraw from events last month, and he heads the betting market from local boy George Coetzee. George defends at Pretoria GC where he has been a member since ten years of age and he used the course knowledge to good effect when winning last March. He also has just returned from an injury but can boast having a few competitive rounds under his belt ahead of the action having played the last five weeks. Following a cut at his national open, Coetzee has produced a TOP15 in Johannesburg, and a TOP10 in Qatar as well as solid 35th & 26th in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. He may just have an advantage on his compatriot here on both recent form and course knowledge and would be a better bet than the US Masters winner for me.

The Pretoria GC is a tight fiddly track that will suit a straight and accurate type player but is not adverse to low scoring as Adrian Otaegui and Jacques Blaauw demonstrated last year when shooting 62 & 61 respectively. Whilst this is only the second staging of the Tshwane Open here, the course has been used regularly for the Sunshine Tour and should be known to most of the home contingent although it has not been played on since 2011. Perhaps the younger home players such as Stone and Porteous will need to rely on excellent current form to negate any advantage that their elder compatriots may have but its clear that in these co-sanctioned events in South Africa, that the home based players tend to excel.

From my shortlist earlier this week, ten of the twelve shortlisted are from the home nation with the remaining two from England and its David Horsey who I have my hopes pinned on a good showing here and to hopefully break the home dominance as did Ross Fisher two years ago. Horsey finished TOP10 last time here and but for a closing 73 would have challenged for the title. He opened the week with a 63 along with Morten Madsen so clearly took to Pretoria GC and so he should as his accuracy should be a positive. But its his form of late that suggests that in this level of company that he could contend again here. He has returned figures of 31-35-36 in his three starts this season having played The Joburg Open, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Having won once in each of the past two seasons, he's not without a chance this week and I make him my outright bet @ 34.00 whilst @ 2.50 with BetVictor for a TOP20 or 4.33 for a TOP10 is also a must for me this week.

My only other selection in this tricky affair at Pretoria is Trevor Fisher Jnr in the TOP20 market @ 2.00 with Paddypower. The Joburg native had an excellent Desert Swing, playing his final round in Abu Dhabi with the World Number One, Jordan Spieth when finishing T7th. He finished T26th in Dubai last week.

From his six starts on the tour this season, Fisher Jnr has produced three TOP20s, which included a TOP10 at the South African Open. He was 22nd at the Tshwane Open in 2015 and appears to be in much better form of late and should be able to find himself within the TOP20 come Sunday night.


0.50 pts WIN D.Horsey @ 34.00
4.00 pts TOP20 D.Horsey @ 2.50

5.00 pts TOP20 T.Fisher Jnr @ 2.00

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