THE European Tour is back after a break for Christmas and New Year. The Tours starts at the Glendower Golf Club, Ekurhuleni, in South Africa and although Rory McIlroy is appearing top South Africans Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace are all missing.
The parkland course is 7564 yards with tree-lined fairways, 64 bunkers, water in play on 11 holes and undulating fast greens so it should be an interesting tourney. I think long off the tee, GIR and putting are all going to play a part here this week.
McIlroy is a big favourite but I like the look of 23-year-old South African Brandon Stone. He won the Alfred Dunhill Championship by seven shots at Leopard Creek at the beginning of December and is the defending champion.
Stone seems to have upped his game a bit from last year if his stats from the Alfred Dunhill are anything to go by. He’s hitting the ball a lot longer, driving accuracy (64.29%), GIR (77.78%) and putts per round 27.75 so if he keeps those stats up there he will be in the mix on Sunday.
Looking at the line-up it’s hard to select someone other than McIlroy but Peter Uihlein is a good selection. I thought he would follow in the footsteps of his ex-roommate on the European Tour, Brooks Koepka, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Apart from three top-10 finishes early last year he didn’t do much to catch the eye but at the UBS Hong Kong Open in December he seemed to return to some kind of form finishing T14. A small wager is the way to go here.
1.5pts ew Brandon Stone (Betfair, 14-1)
1pt ew Peter Uihlein (Betfred, 66-1)
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