THE Alfred Dunhill Championship will be hosted by the Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa where it has been situated since 2004.
The Gary Player designed course is on the southern edge of the Kruger National Park and there is plenty of wildlife on view, ranging from crocodiles to elephants and buffalos. But no Tigers – Woods is playing elsewhere this week.
There should be plenty of excitement here with the 9th green on a peninsular jutting into the Crocodile River and the par-five 18th with it’s island green. Don’t think it’s advisable to go paddling in the river looking for your ball though.
Charl Schwartzel is hard to overlook after finishing in the top two EIGHT times in his last 11 appearances in the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Since missing the cut in his first two appearances at Leopard Creek he has shot under par in 38 of 42 rounds and has a scoring average of 68.6 so obviously loves the course. Unfortunately he is a red-hot favourite so I’ll give him a miss this time and go for value.
Leader of the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit Brandon Stone looks a good bet. He has won once and been runner-up a further three times on the Tour. He’s been struggling a bit on the European Tour but when he gets home to South Africa he finds his form. With GIR and putting important on this course Stone looks a good pick. His GIR is 69.3% and putts per GIR of 1.74.
I like the look of Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, who finished second to Schwartzel at the corresponding tournament last year. His season has been a bit up and down but finished a credible 35th in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai a couple of weeks ago. His GIR stat is 71.4% and Putts per GIR 1.79.