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SA Open Championship: Stats point strongly towards a home win

Charl Schwartzel has a tremendous record in his homeland

"Of the 16 SA Open Championship tournaments to be staged on the European Tour, 12 have been won by a home-based play. That statistic looks even more impressive in the last decade or so - 10 of the last 11 renewals have been won by a South African player."

Mike Norman loves nothing more than to get stuck into the South African golfers at their home events at this time of the year. And given these stats, who can blame him?

The Majors are over for another season, the Ryder Cup - as brilliant as it was - is already a memory, the PGA Tour is shutting up shop, and the endless amount of big-money invitational events are about to begin.

It's a good job then that the European Tour hardly draws breath these days; and it's even better news that we'll soon be enjoying golf from South Africa.

Starting this week, the penultimate event on the 2012 European Tour schedule is the SA Open Championship, and just a few weeks later (early December) the start of the 2013 season begins with The Nelson Mandela Championship and the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

The Rainbow Nation then hosts a further three European Tour-sanctioned events at the beginning of 2013 meaning we have six tournaments - more than ever before - staged in South Africa in just over a three month spell.

But it's not the outstanding scenery, Tony Johnstone's bird-spotting skills, or the prospect of an alligator ripping some caddy's legs to shreds in the middle of a fairway that excites me! No. It's the thought of being able to adhere to one of the modern day golden rules of golf betting - when in South Africa, back a South African.

The statistics are quite phenomenal (SA Open Championship stats detailed below), but the one that underlines what I'm saying is the one that tells us that the last eight European Tour events to be staged in South Africa (and 10 of the last 11) have all been won by players from the home nation.

I will be producing a Stats Pack ahead of each South African-based event, with some recommended wagers for you to consider, the first of which can be found right here.


The Stats
- Of the 16 SA Open Championship tournaments to be staged on the European Tour, 12 have been won by a home-based player. That statistic looks even more impressive in the last decade or so - 10 of the last 11 renewals have been won by a South African player.

SA Open Championship Winner market

- In the last eight renewals of the SA Open Championship, 43 South Africans have finished in a top-10 position and 24 have finished in a top-five position.

Top 10 Finish market - Top 5 Finish market

- In 2010, the first four home were all big name South Africans - Ernie Els beat Retief Goosen, with Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel finishing third and fourth respectively.

Schwartzel is the only one of the four here this week and is 8.88/1 to win.

- Last year saw the best year yet for the South Africans with eight of them finishing in the top 10, suggesting recent trends are not about to be bucked.

Defending champion Hennie Otto can be backed at 75.074/1 to retain his title.

- Branden Grace finished in a tie for sixth in this event last year, played at the same venue as this week's renewal, before going on to win four tournaments on the European Tour including two in South Africa.

Grace is available to back at 12.011/1 to record his fifth win of the season.


- As well as the cream of South African golf rising to the top in this event, some lesser known home players have a decent record too. Take Darren Fichardt for example, who has recorded four top-six finishes in recent years.

Fichardt is available to back at 60.059/1 to win and at 12.011/1 to finish in the top five.


- Without the likes of Els and Goosen in attendance, one of the best SA Open Championship records on show is undoubtedly that of Schwartzel. The 2011 Masters Champion has been runner up and fourth in this event in recent times as well as recording many other high ranking finishes. What's more, excluding his major triumph, his last three wins on the European Tour have all been in his homeland.


Recommended Bets
Back Charl Schwartzel @ 8.88/1
Back Branden Grace @ 12.011/1

Back Darren Fichardt (Top Five) @ 12.011/1


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13 November 2012

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