The each-way column returns for the first European Tour event of the year and it looks a bit good with world no.2 Rory McIlroy adding a touch of class to the field. Rory's too short to rate an each-way bet for any of our team of course, and their tenners go on the following five instead...
Joe Dyer: Back Christiaan Bezuidenhout @ 50/1
"My man was a selection for Dan Geraghty last year at a massive 250/1 and while I have to take a fifth of that price in 2017 I think it's justified given he can clearly perform on the course."
*Each-way 1/4 odds, 5 places
Dan Geraghty: Back Romain Langasque @ 50/1
The cluster of South African events that form part of the early European Tour season always seem to be dominated by home players and over the years the SA Open has been no exception; between 2002 and 2009 the title went to a South African each and every year. However, in the seven tournaments that followed we've had winners from Scotland, Sweden, Denmark and England, and that helps give me the confidence to select a European this week. The home contingent already have a tougher assignment than usual here - big name South Africans are missing and world number two Rory Mcilroy tees it up - he's a warm favourite. My each-way focus however, is on another European - Romain Langasque, who approaches his debut European Tour season following a remarkably consistent introduction on the Challenge Tour, where he missed just one cut and registered 11 top 20 finishes.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Dylan Frittelli @ 66/1
Last year's South African Open went to a top home prospect leaving previous course form behind and Dylan Frittelli looks capable of following in Brandon Stone's footsteps. The 26-year-old definitely made progress during 2016 with a consistently productive Challenge Tour campaign, winning in Switzerland and contending several other times. Having proven his worth overseas, I expect Frittelli to bring a much higher standard and level of confidence to the biggest events in his homeland. He registered a respectable top-20 finish at Glendower last year and he certainly has the power off the tee that usually yields an advantage here.
Joe Dyer: Back Christiaan Bezuidenhout @ 50/1
After a month off between tournaments there's bound to be a bit of rustiness among many of this week's BMW SA Open field so it may pay to side with those who have the advantage of knowing the course well. And few know Glendower better than Christiaan Bezuidenhout, last year's SA Open runner-up and a winner at the track in a Big Easy Tour event in 2015. My man was a selection for Dan Geraghty last year at a massive 250/1 and while I have to take a fifth of that price in 2017 I think it's justified given he can clearly perform on the course. Rory apart, there's little to fear in the field and the place returns would still be handsome should the favourite hose up.
Steve Rawlings: Back David Horsey @ 40/1
Four time European Tour winner David Horsey finished 2016 strongly, placing three times in his last nine starts and finishing a very respectable 13th at the DP World Tour Championship. He's spent the last week or so in Dubai preparing for 2017 and in what is a very weak field, with the exception of Rory McIlroy, defending champ Brandon Stone, and 2015 winner Andy Sullivan, he looks a very fair each-way price at 40/1 given he has a 9.6% top-five strike rate on the European Tour over the last four years.
Mike Norman: Back Zander Lombard @ 66/1
As Dan correctly points out, the Europeans have a decent record in this event recently following the period of South African dominance from 2002 up to 2009, but anyone who knows me well will know that I'm always keen to get a home player on my side when we're in the Rainbow Nation; if you study all the European Tour events on South African soil the home players have an outstanding record, win and place. So it's Zander Lombard for me, a highly promising 21-year-old who already has bags of good form in his home country to his name including three consecutive top 12 finishes (including a second at the Joburg Open) this time last year in three back-to-back South African events. He was in decent form in late 2016 too, recording three finishes inside the top six on the Sunshine Tour suggesting his game is in good order as he commences 2017.
2017 Season P/L to date: +£20.00
- Alfred Dunhill Championship, Thomas Detry @ 66/1 - PLACE (Dan)
- Alfred Dunhill Championship, Richard Sterne @ 22/1 - PLACE (Paul)
* Total P/L for 2016 Season: +£267.58
* Total P/L for 2015 Season: +£958.37
* Total P/L for 2014 Season: +£251.75