It was a tough old week again last week at the Hero World Challnege. Our tips Xander Schauffele and Collin Morikawa were pretty much inside the top 7 all of the 4 days but unfortunately both finished just 1 shot outside the places.
Viktor Hovland ended up successfully defending his Hero World Challenge title win from 2021. The Norwegian was stellar from Tee to Green all week but it was his consistent putting that seperated him from the pack leading him to a finishing total of -16 and a 2 shot win over world number 2, Scottie Scheffler.
While it might have been our second week of near returns, hopefully we can close out the year strongly over the next three weeks to add to our profitable year so far.
On to this week...
Alfred Dunhill Championships Betting Odds
Moving over to the DP World Tour this week for their third and final week in South Africa. The guys are in the area of Malelane at Leopard Creek Country Club for its 17th renewal of the Alfred Dunhill Championships (every year since 2004 apart from 2021, where the tournament was cancelled last minute due to strict travel restrictions through COVID-19). Meaning, Christiaan Bezuidenhout will defend his win here in 2020.
The tournament this week is once again co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour which is South Africa's own Tour - so expect some Sunshine regulars to put up a fight in familiar conditions on home soil.
Leopard Creek Country Club
- Par 72, 7250 yards
- Gary Player design
- 4 x Par 3s - ranging from 155-205 yards
- 10 x Par 4s - ranging from 311-489 yards (6/11, 450 yards or under)
- 4 x Par 5s - ranging from 552-580 yards
- Course redesigned in 2017/18 by Gary Player
- Fairways/Rough replaced with Bermuda Grass
- Greens replaced with Bermuda Grass also
- Wide but undulating fairways lined by thick trees/bushes
This course is a beauty to watch on televison and one that players look forward to playing. Often there are wildlife sitings from the Kruger National Park which borders the course, including the crocodiles in the 'Crocodile River' that situates itself at various points of the course.
The course on the whole is quite a short Par 72. Its yardage made up majorly by the four Par 5s, which are all shortish holes in terms on Tour standards and will be reachable in two shots for most this week. The course does present itself vulnerable to a big hitting bomber to overpower it, so I may include one or two of the longer than average hitters in my selections this week.
On paper, the hole layout and their yardages make the course look really scoreable, but the new Bermuda turf has provided a very different test the last three times we have seen it since the course revamp. Scores of -14 twice and -8 shows how much the course has changed since the days of Charl Schwartzel's winning score of -24 in 2012. The sweltering hot weather will make the fairways and greens run true and fast, so that will make things even more of a test for the guys this week.
Alfred Dunhill Championship 2020 Winner
2020 Winner – Christiaan Bezuidenhout -14
- 37th OTT
- 22nd DA
- 12th T2G
- 25th APP
- 2nd GIR
- 8th SCR
- 3rd Putting
- 1st Bogey Avoidance
Christiaan impressively won by three strokes in 2020 over four players in 2nd position - Richard Bland, Sean Crocker, Adrian Meronk and Jayden Schaper. He has always prevailed on tough courses, so he always a big threat on this set up, especially with it being in his home country also.
Stats to consider
- Course form
- Scrambling/Putting/Bogey Avoidance
- Par 4 scoring
Course form has hisorically always held up here and a typical South Afican course like this has a certain feel to it that the players can get used to and comfy with. With this in mind I will be looking for a player who either has had a good record/finish here before or has consistently performed well in South Africa either on the Sunshine or DP World Tour.
A tough course means players always have to do two things correct in order to contend - good iron play and the ability to grind to scramble pars/bogeys when neccessary.
Leopard Creek is no exception to this rule. a smattering of players who finished in the top 10 last year found themselves towards the top of the rankings for stats like T2G/GIR/Scrambling and Putting. All attributes they will have to do right this week again, escpecially if the forecasts of hot and dry conditions are to be believed.
Alfred Dunhill Championships Prediction
Back to five each way selections this week! All with 8 places, lets find some value this week with some outsiders!
Jayden Schaper 35/1
George Coetzee 40/1
Ross Fisher 66/1
Marcel Siem 100/1
Jaco Prinsloo 125/1