SDC Championship First-Round Leader Tips: Picks from 50/1 to 100/1

South African golfer Brandon Stone
Brandon Stone can make his mark early

After another 66/167.00 place last week, Dave Tindall has three each-way bets to top the leaderboard come the end of round one at St. Francis Links...

  • 66/167.00 Brandon Stone has been going low early

  • 50/151.00 Ryan Van Velzen continues to thrive

  • 100/1101.00 Keenan Davidse has a nice mix of relevant form


  • Weather forecast for Thursday

    It's going to be a windy one at the Jack Nicklaus-designed St. Francis Links on Thursday. The morning starters in Eastern Cape will be greeted by winds between 20-25mph and it could increase to 30mph for the afternoon.

    Temperatures look pleasant through, gradually rising from 70 degrees to 80. There could just be a slight advantage for the morning wave but everyone will have to deal with the gusts.


    Back Brandon Stone @ 66/167.00

    Brandon Stone continues to blow hot and cold but that's not necessarily a problem in this market as long as one of his low rounds pops up first.

    Stone's last five events show three missed cuts, a fourth and a sixth, the latter coming a couple of weeks ago in the Dimension Data Pro-Am where he was eighth after the opening lap.

    The former Scottish Open champion shot a 65 in round three of that event while in his first start of 2024 Stone set out with a 64 in the Ras al Khaimah Championship to end Thursday in second.

    He only has one start at St. Francis Links and 32nd seemed modest but he did find a low one that week, a Saturday 66 lifting him 43 spots up the leaderboard from 53rd to 10th. He then closed with a 75.

    It's all a bit feast or famine however you approach Stone's form but if he gets off to a good start from his 07.20 tee-time the 66/167.00 offers plenty of reward for a player who can handle winds.

    Back Brandon Stone each-way @ 66/167.00

    Bet here

    Back Ryan Van Velzen @ 50/151.00

    Ryan Van Velzen did us a FRL favour last week when shooting a 67 on day one of the Kenya Open to finish in a tie for second place.

    He went on to finish 11th in that DP World Tour event, adding to a win, a second and a seventh in three of his previous four starts.

    Van Velzen, who also made the top three in both the South African PGA Championship and South African Open at the back end of last year, also has some course form.

    That third place at the South African PGA has particular relevance as it was staged on this course and he was seventh after round one in tough scoring conditions.

    The youngster can hopefully shine again from his very early tee-time of 06.40.

    Back Ryan Van Velzen each-way @ 50/151.00

    Bet here

    Back Keenan Davidse @ 100/1101.00

    Let's complete a trio of local South Africans with Keenan Davidse, who is certainly a fan of this courses having collected four straight top 25s in the various events held at St. Francis Links.

    The good news is that the latest two are the best pair, a sixth in the 2022 Vodacom Origins St. Francis Links and ninth in this co-sanctioned event last year.

    His 2024 form had been patchy but last week he was the halfway leader in the NMB Championship before finishing eighth.

    Davidse was fifth after day one thanks to a 65 so hopefully that marks a return to his round one form from October when he ended in the top six in back-to-back openers.

    That was just over a month on from a first-round 64 at the Gary & Vivienne Player Challenge which put him second after 18 holes.

    Davidse, who tees off at 11.50, has three top 10s and a top 20 in his last five starts on Nicklaus courses and is well worth a go at a three-figure price.

    Back Keenan Davidse each-way @ 100/1101.00

    Bet here

    Now read Steve Rawlings on the SDC Championship


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