BOTH Dustin Johnson and Marcus Fraser gave us a good run for our money at the weekend but unfortunately fell at the last hurdle. We still got a return on their second and third places and hopefully that elusive winner isn’t far away.
This week the European Tour heads down to South Africa for the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.
I’m taking Gregory Bourdy as my first pick. He’s had two top-five finishes in his last three tournaments and has played steady golf this year. His driving accuracy has not been great this season (64.73) but GIR is a superb 77.43%.
Out of 16 rounds of golf he has only been over 70 three times and two of them were his first tournament of the year at Abu Dhabi. Also in six career rounds on this course he has never hit higher than 70.
My next pick is old favourite Thomas Aiken who has finished in the top six in the last two seasons here. He topped the rankings of GIR on the European Tour last season with an average 76.3%. He was also eighth in driving accuracy with 73.4%. His putting isn’t great at 30.55 but think he’s a good each-way bet.
In America the Tour moves to the Florida Swing for the Honda Classic at the PGA National with what looks like the strongest field of the year. Rory McIlroy is a strong favourite at a very short price so I’d leave him for this one.
Martin Kaymer is making his first start of the year on the PGA Tour after two top-four finishes on the European Tour at Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The 2014 US Open champion seems to be back to his best. His GIR stat is over 76% and driving accuracy is only over 57% but driving accuracy seems to be a problem for most golfers this early in the season (well it is for me!)
My favourite player at the moment is Brooks Koepka and although I didn’t tip him for the Waste Management I did manage to back him on the Sunday at 8-1. So I’m taking him this week as I think the guy is a great talent and I have high hopes for him this season. On the Tour he is number one for eagles, second for scoring average, fifth for strokes gained tee to green and his GIR is over 71%. A good each-way bet.
Finally although Ryan Palmer missed the cut at the AT&T he had a solid run up until then. That ended a string of nine top-25s. He lost in a play-off last year at the PGA National and is looking good for a place.