While the rest of the golfing world focuses on Tiger Woods’ return at the Hero World Challenge, Charl Schwartzel is out to prove that familiarity doesn’t breed contempt by winning his fifth Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.
South Africans have dominated their home-town event with the last five winners Schwartzel (3) Brandon Grace (1) & Gareth Mulroy (1) all coming from the rainbow nation and there’s plenty high up the betting to suggest that the apple won’t fall too far from the tree again.
Here’s the 7 players you’re backing at noon on Wednesday ahead of the 5am tee-off.
The four-time winner of this event (2004, 12,13 & 15) will be getting a statue in his honour if he brings up the five timer at the Leopard Creek Club and already holds the 72-hole record here with his 24-under-par total in 2012. We’d never call a 3/1 shot ‘value’ in any tournament, but the boy Schwartzel owns this event. Up to you.
At 6/1, Grace is double the price of his compatriot but is still half the price of most weekend favs on the regular grind of the US Tour. Ran out a seven stroke winner over Louis Oosthuizen in 2015. His natural links skills mightn’t be needed but his power off the tee should be shown to good effect. Has had wider success than Schwartzel, however he’ll be keen to top ‘n’ tail the season after a January win in the Qatar Masters.
A couple of cheek punts on the Irish pro but he’ll have to convert his form at the similarly named tournament in Scotland to figure here. Dunne had the weekend free to work on his tan last year shooting two rounds of 73 and 75 that left him on +4. He will need to go low early to run with the herd in an event where the pack leaders regularly post scores in the mid-teens or higher. He’s already secured his card for next season and is off to South Africa, so what’s not to love?
— Pep Angles (@pepangles) November 22, 2016
It was back to school for the English pro as Pepperell got the job done at PGA Catalunya to retain his Tour card for next season. With that monkey off his back and his girlfriend pressed into caddying duty again, he’ll be looking to take advantage of this second chance at a track he finished eighth last year. If you’re looking for value, he could be the play.
A consistent season on the European Challenger Tour for the 23-year-old who managed to finish T19 when stepping up against the seasoned pros at Sergio Garcia’s Open de Espana.
Only his parents could pick him out of a line-up, but someone has seen enough to snaffle the 125/1 about the former Alps Tour winner in early exchanges.
Keep grinding is his motto, which we reckon makes him an Angle grinder, right?
Spent most of mid-season in the wilderness before bouncing back with his biggest cheques of the year – a cool €250k – when fifth at the Turkish Airlines Open. Hasn’t really shone at Malelane before and there’s probably better double-figure golfers in the field to press up in Paddy’s 7 place offer.
A Sunshine Tour veteran, Walters usually reserves his best for the home events going back-to-back with top 5 finishes in the BMW SA Open and Jo’burg Open last January. Hasn’t had to hang an oversize cheque above the mantlepiece since winning the Royal Swazi Open in May 2011. Ranked 370th in the world, so at least has the consolation of being better than Tiger Woods.