With no PGA Tour event this week we will be focusing on the European Tour event, The Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, Malelane, South Africa.
The 156-strong field will be competing for the $1.5M purse on this stunning par 72 Gary Player layout. A little reminder, with this event in South Africa any pre tournament bets will need to be placed before 4.30AM GMT.
Last week was agonising for myself and anyone following my 130/1 EW selection Patton Kizzire at the RSM Classic. His price plummeted to as short as 10/1 after some sublime golf. When he completed his final round the American was still in the place money only to be pushed out with a couple of the remaining golfers on the course who birdied the final hole.
Oh the joys off golf wagering! It’s so difficult to hedge golf bets with so many in contention but I hope that unlike myself a few took advantage off the cash out facility available with most firms. I’d imagine golf has to be the trickiest sport to pick winners but if you’ve been following me over the past few months then you’ll still have some extra money for Christmas.
Pablo Larrazabal will return to defend the title he won last year at this stunning scenic course on the edge off South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The spectators will include as always, lions, hippos, crocodiles and giraffes to name bit a few .
The weather is forecast to be cloudy with temperatures in the mid 20s and sunny, hotter weather over the weekend. Winds will pick up on Saturday and Sunday so could make the final rounds more challenging therefore power will be key with the big hitters taking advantage.
For this reason my first selection will be Brandon Stone EW 14/1 bet365.
The 27-year-old South African will be on home soil at a course he just simply adores. He recently commented that this course was designed for him.
Last week Stone returned after a month lay off to finish 4th at the Joburg Open also here in South Africa. He had the best tee to green figures in the field and was striking the ball impressively. He won here at Leopard Creek in 2016 winning by 6 shots and has finished inside the top 20 on a few other occasions.
If he can just improve with his putter, which let him down last week, and combine that with his big power hitting then I think he will be hard to beat and definitely be a contender come Sunday.
If he can get off to a good start I feel the field will be playing catch up and he could be a very popular winner here at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
My next selection is a golfer I’ve been following recently, 26-year-old Adri Arnaus at 44/1EW (betfair).
The young Spaniard has also had a lay-off recently after testing positive following his 5th place finish at the Italian Open. Before Arnaus became ill he was in superb form, contending at a few tournaments while trying to claim that maiden European Tour event title.
I feel it’s just a matter of time before he puts things together and I’m backing him to be in the mix again this weekend.
The youngster from Spain is now based in Dubai so conditions will suit. In his rookie season he finished in the top 15 on five occasions with three being in the top 5, two of those in the runner-up spots.
Arnaus is one of the best drivers of the ball on tour and if he can improve on his approach play then this will surely put him in contention once again and is definitely another to be considered especially at an attractive price.
My next best selection is yet another South African, Wilco Nienaber (22/1 EW bet365) who was just so unlucky at The Joburg Open last week, eventually finishing 2nd after untimely bogeys on the final two holes that cost him the title.
The young 20-year-old is a power house and could even show Bryson DeChambeau a trick or two. Can you believe Nienaber hit a 439 yard drive at the par 5 fourth hole at Randpark Golf Club last week? That is just simply borderline obscene and offensive, it was one of the best strokes I’ve ever witnessed.
His ball speed has been recorded at over 200 mph, this youngster can only see good things coming his way and it could well be this weekend. He finished 24th here last year on his debut so knows his way around Leopard Creek and the fact that he has now enrolled a professional caddie to help with course management can only be an advantage.
Brandon Stone v Robert MacIntyre
My final selection is a 72-hole match bet between Brandon Stone (11/10 Nap betfair) v Robert MacIntyre.
The fact that Stone just simply loves this golf course and plays lots of golf here, as well as winning previously at Leopard Creek in the past, this surely gives him the edge over MacIntyre.