The European Tour may reach its climax in Dubai nest week, but this week’s Nedbank Challenge is a wonderful tournament in its own right – one won by greats such as Johnny Miller, Seve, Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Nick Price, Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Erne Els and Sergio Garcia.
However, this is no longer the small-field invitational it once was, and 72 players take part this week at the Gary Player Country Club, Sun City Golf, South Africa at a course that now measures a massive 7,381 yards.
The Kikuyu rough is tough, but it’s possible to go low here as last year’s winner Alex Noren demonstrated with a final round 63, but stray offline and it can be hard to find the smaller than average Bent Grass greens that are slick, with the Stimpmeter measuring them at about 11.
Tyrell Hatton is the bookies’ favourite this week but, whilst he’s in the form of his life, he’s hard to recommend this week having failed to break 70 in any round on last year’s debut here. Meanwhile, Tommy Fleetwood may be a much-improved player, and will be looking for a good showing to extend his slender Race To Dubai lead over Justin Rose, but he’s only broken 70 once and has yet to look a natural fit here.
South African Brandon Grace has taken well to the course on his last two visits though and, though he doesn’t arrive in scintillating form, it wouldn’t be the first time that he has upped his game on a return to his home country.
The second player to make this week’s betting plan is Ross Fisher who, whilst poor when last seen, was in great form before that with runner-up finishes in both Scotland and Italy. He also has three top-5 finishes here and, having taken last week off, he looks to have prioritised this event.
The talented enigma that is Victor Dubuisson also looks a value-bet, despite having to take a risk on his fitness. However, he’s really shown a liking for this place in finishing fourth and third the last two years, and he’s frequently shown his best form of the season in this year’s final 3 events in Turkey, South Africa and Dubai.
At a big price, it’s also impossible to leave out Jeunghun Wang, who blew a big lead here last year with a final round 75 as Noren shot 63. He’s not in the best of form, but the youngster likes the long and bouncy conditions he’s likely to get this week, and this 3-time European Tour winner is bound to return to form soon.
Nedbank Golf Challenge Tips
1.5 Points Each-Way @ 16/1 Betfair, PaddyPower, WilliamHill (all 6 places)
1.5 Points Each-Way @ 20/1 Betfair, PaddyPower (all 6 places)
1 Point Each-Way @ 40/1 Betfair, PaddyPower, WilliamHill (all 6 places)
1 Point Each-Way @ 80/1 Betfair, PaddyPower, WilliamHill (all 6 places)