South African Open Betting Tips & Predictions – Thursday 6th December 2018

Many of the world’s top golfers have already taken one of the few chances they get to have an extended break from the rigours of the sport and put their clubs away for the Christmas period. Others have decided that there’s still time in 2018 to earn some world ranking points and potentially a tournament win by competing at the South African Open.

240 players will tee it up this week in what is the biggest tournament in South Africa. That number includes pretty much every big name in South African golf and some big names from both European and Asia. The home galleries will have many players to cheer on and could be celebrating a victory from the in-form Dylan Frittelli who is a good price to win at 12/1 with Betfred.

Top Tips

Dylan Frittelli @ 12/1

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Course Info

This year marks a change for top level competition golf in South Africa as the South African Open and Joburg Open have merged into one. That decision has seen the South African Open head to Johannesburg and Randpark Golf Club. Both the club’s Firethorn and Bushwillow will be in use this week for the bumper field and both are among the most prestigious and well-kept golf courses in the country.

Both courses play to a par of 71 but Bushwillow is much the shorter at 7,144 yards. Firethorn, which hosts both weekend rounds, is significantly longer at 7,504 yards so be sure to take a close look at the leaderboard after the first round. Those who score well at Firethorn on Thursday could well hammer home their advantage at Bushwillow.

CourseLocationLengthPrize Money
Randpark Golf Club Johannesburg, South Africa 7,144 Yards/ 7,504 Yards ZAR17,500,000

Recent Winners

The South African Open is the second oldest open competition in all of golf behind only the Open Championship. It’s always been the most important tournament in the country and long one of the most well regarded on both the Sunshine and European Tours (the Asian Tour are also co-sanctioning this week’s tournament). As you’d expect, some of the biggest names in South African golf have won the trophy including Trevor Immelman, Ernie Els (five times) and Gary Player (an incredible 11 times).

Brandon Stone’s maiden European Tour title in 2015 is the only time a home golfer has won the South African Open in the last five years but several have finished runner up. The majority of recent winners have been European Tour stalwarts such as Andy Sullivan and Graeme Storm who held off Rory McIlroy in a playoff. The last player to win the South African Open at Randpark Golf Club was Mathias Gronberg in 2000.

YearWinnerCourseTo ParWinning Margin
2017 Chris Paisley Glendower Golf Club -21 3 Strokes
2016 Graeme Storm Glendower Golf Club -18 Playoff
2015 Brandon Stone Glendower Golf Club -14 2 Strokes
2014 Andy Sullivan Glendower Golf Club -11 Playoff
2013 Morten Orum Madsen Glendower Golf Club -19 2 Strokes

Analysis: Incoming Form Could Prove Important

The difficulty with moving to a new host (especially one with two courses) is that there isn't much in the way of stats to go on. We do at least know from the 2017 Joburg Open that Firethorn is a much more modern test of golf which will favour the bigger hitters whilst Bushwillow is a narrow, tree-lined track that favours a more patient, accurate style. The variety of the challenge means that confidence could be key here as players will need to trust their game. Therefore, lending your support to those in a good run of form may prove to be the way to go.

Frittelli to Relish Home Comforts

There aren’t many South African golfers feeling better about their game at the moment than Dylan Frittelli. The 28-year-old secured his third top 10 finish in seven starts last week at the Mauritius Open. That run of form could hardly have come at a better time as he makes his return to his home city.

Frittelli was a little disappointed that he couldn’t defend his title in Mauritius last week but was still happy with the shape of his game. He’s showed that he can play well on the big stage as well by claiming seventh place at the DP World Tour Championship. That taste of the big time will doubtless spur him on as he embarks on a season on the PGA Tour and he’d love nothing more than to head Stateside on the back of winning his home open.

Frittelli can be a little wild off the tee so will need to rein it in at Bushwillow but his powerful game should be well suited to Firethorn. He could only finish 42nd at this venue in last year’s Joburg Open but that came straight after his win so he can be excused. He’ll be expecting much better this year, as are those who have snapped up the 12/1 that Betfred are quoting.

Norris to Challenge at Randpark Again

Shaun Norris plays the majority of his golf on the Asian and Japanese Tours but the South African still gets the chance to play on the Sunshine Tour every now and then and will be as excited as any other home player in this week’s field. He’ll also be happy that the South African Open is heading to Randpark as he played very well at the venue in last year’s Joburg Open.

Norris couldn’t mount much of a challenge against the runaway winner, Shubhankar Sharma, but each of his four rounds were in the 60s including a final round of 65. Conditions won’t be as wet this time around but Norris has the game to go well again and challenge for the win at 40/1 with Ladbrokes.

Final Verdict: Dylan Frittelli to Win

Finishing on top of 239 other golfers is going to be a very tough ask at the South African Open but Dylan Frittelli is up to the task. This is an exciting period of his life as he gives it a crack on the PGA Tour and with his game in great shape he has a real chance of heading to America on the back of a South African Open win.

About

The South African Open is the final swing of the South African based vents for a few months on tour before the players head off to take on Asian and the Middle East. The South African Open has been running since 1903, although was only co-sanctioned by the European Tour in 1997, where it became an official event for the tour.

The tournament has been one that has always been hosted in the Johannesburg area, but has been able to visit different courses as a result. The current host is that of the Randpark Golf Club but other recent hosts are Glendower Golf Club and the Serengeti Golf Club.

South African golfing legend Gary Player is the tournament most decorated player, with 13 victories over the decades. What makes it more impressive is that his wins came between 1956 and 1981, a prime time for Player to be travelling around the world, mainly in the US plying his trade. Especially in the early days, Player would have to travel days on end to get to tournaments, but such was the great mans will and desire to expand the game, he did it with great success. He's since been known as the first Global Ambassador for golf and one of the main reasons why tours such as the European Tour are able to visit so many places around the world, expanding the game of golf.

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