Draftkings Preview and Picks for the South African Open.
This year we have what is being called a new look to the SA open, however in reality a change to the schedule and inclusion of new venues have forced the Joburg Open and SA Open to merge into one event. Consequently the SA Open has returned to Johannesburg and to Randpark GC.
Just like the Joburg Open the event will be played over both tournament courses at Randpark. These are Bushwillow and Firethorn. Players will play both course over the first two days. After that point a cut of 70 and ties will be made from this monstrous field of 243 and the weekends golf will contested on the longer of the two courses and better set up for tournament play, Firethorn.
Bushwillow - Par 71 - 7114 yards - 3 x par 5’s, 4 x par 3’s. Tree-lined, tactical course. Requires great ball striking.
Firethorn - Par 71 - 7506 yards - 3 x par 5’s, 4 x par 3’s. Tree-lined (little more spacious.) tournament course. Requires great driving.
Just as last weeks Australian Open the home contingent is plentiful and extremely strong. This nation seem to breed exceptional golfers and among the field this week we have talent in abundance.
On offer from the home nation we have Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Charl Swartzel and Ernie Els as the main attractions. Joining them Matt Wallace and last years surprise winner Chris Paisley will also help boost the top end of this events offering.
There will of course be plenty of players on offer that most of you will be somewhat familiar with and there will be plenty of talent to keep an eye on for future reference in other upcoming events.
The field as mentioned earlier is massive. 243 players listed to tee it up on Thursday. There are plenty of ownership opportunities for the bold. But do be wary of taking to big a gamble in your line ups and missing out on the key 6 of 6 element. Only the top 29% in the field will get to see weekend golf. Finding that low priced, low owned power pick, will be like hunting for a needle in haystack this week. My advice is go for balance but try to avoid a lineup full of very obvious, high owned plays. Sounds Easy!!!
Key Stats and Strategy
Just like last week I am once again as you may have already gathered a big fan of the home contingent players. These guys eat two buffalo and lion for breakfast, kill the golf ball off the tee and smash through the Kikuya like its nothing more than scorched Rye. Seriously though its more about their familiarity with playing the grasses growing up in the game and styling of courses they play on a consistent basis.
Balance in my line ups will be key, 6 of 6 is essential and will give you a great chance going in to the weekend, especially if there are a couple of household names that don’t live up to there expected performance.
Total driving, the ball has to be hit well and with a good level of accuracy around the Randpark courses. Even on Firethorn where the course is considerably longer and the fairways a little wider, accuracy is still demanded of the player to find correct positioning for better chances of scoring. It also helps considerably with bogey avoidance as missing these fairways and finding the longer cuts will throw in a huge amount of unpredictability when it comes to controlling the ball with their second shots.
Good mid to long iron play. As much as hitting fairways is important to scoring here, finding the greens is just a equally important.. There are no easy up and downs when playing from this grass. It takes a lot of skill, attention to detail and sometimes a good chunk of luck.
My Top Picks
Louis Oosthuizen - $11,700 - To Win Outright 13/2, +650. 2.5 Points. Sorry huge name and going to be high owned but I believe he wins this week.
$9,000 - $10,000
Dean Burmester - $9,800 - E/W 25/1, +2500. 1 Point.
$8,000 - $9,000
Justin Harding - $8,700
$7,000 - $8,000
Joachim B. Hansen - $7,800
Christian Bezhuidenhout - $7,400
Jacques Blaauw - $7,100
$6,000 - $7,000
Jaco Van Zyl - $6,900
Trevor Fisher Jnr - $6,700 - E/W 140/1, +14000. 0.5 Points.
Merrick Bremner - $6,700.
Champ and Kiz - Outright to win 5/1, +500. 2 Points
Tony and Lexi - E/W 14/1, +1400. 1 Point.