Free Tips For The Nedbank Golf Challenge 2019
The 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge (14-17 November) is the penultimate tournament in the 2019 Race to Dubai, but the organisers will be disappointed that four of the top six in the RTD standings have decided to give it a miss. But that doesn’t mean it’s not going to provide us with four days of thrilling golf action. We could even get a six-man play-off like we were treated to in Turkey last week.
John Rahm, Shane Lowry, Rory McIlroy are three players in the top five in the rankings that are saving their final effort for Dubai next week, whilst last week’s winner Tyrell Hatton is also absent after winning the aforementioned play-off.
That means Bernd Wiesberger and Matt Fitzpatrick are the two players in the top-six that are playing this week but, whilst both have played okay in the event before, neither looks an ideal fit for the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, which measures over 7,800 yards.
The Nedbank Challenge was established in 1981, but the then 12-man invitational has slowly evolved to become a high-profile part of the Race to Dubai over the last few seasons. The course normally makes huge demands of a player’s tee-to-green prowess, but Brandon Grace did win here in 2017 by simply having a much hot putter than his fellow competitors.
It’s no surprise to see the bookies install Louis Oosthuizen as the favourite to win this week, as the South African blew a great chance to win last year and has finished in the top-10 on more occasions than he hasn’t. He also played well to finish third in the WGC in China two-weeks ago and will have been trying to fine-tune his game since then in an effort to win what is one of the few big tournaments in South Africa to have eluded this talented ball-striker. With seven places up for grabs, Oosthuizen is difficult to leave out of the betting plan this week, and he’s the first of our Nedbank Challenge free tips.
Tommy Fleetwood is the second favourite this week and his ball-striking should be a huge asset around this course. But despite playing okay here in four previous visits, he’s yet to threaten to win here. He also comes into the event having failed to play his best golf for most of the season. He could be the type of player to find his best game for one or both the last two big events of the season, but he’d have appealed more at bigger odds than the 12/1 on offer.
One player that frequently brings his best game to the final two events of the season is Henrik Stenson and, whilst the Swede may be past his best now he’s in his forties, this looks a place to chance he’s still got a big win in him. His course form reads 2/4/1/2/4/2/8 and he’s posted three top 20’s in his last four tournaments this season. That makes Stenson the second of our free tips for the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Other players to note include Erik Van Rooyen and Kurt Kitayama, who were both beaten in last-week’s play-off, but neither has any notable form at Sun City. Robert McIntyre also went well last week but will do well to break his European Tour duck on his first look at this venue. Alex Noren started well last week but, as has often been the case this season, he struggled to maintain that effort. But the Swede has played well here before.
But the last of this week’s 2019 Newbank Challenge free tips is defending Champion Lee Westwood. Yes, he’s old and past his best. He also tends to throw away plenty of potential winning positions – but nobody in this year’s field will probably ever compile a record at the Gary Player Country Club as good as Westwood’s.
Westwood finished sixth here on debut in 2004 and went one place better when returning in 2008. He then, notably, won back-to-back renewals in 2010 and 20011. Even in 2014 and 2015, when playing some of the worst golf of his career, he finished 28th and 16th. However, it’s his performances in his last two visits, when sixth in 2017 and when winning last year, that suggests if he’s going to win on the European Tour again it could be here. He also finished nicely for tenth in Turkey last week.