We came oh so close to landing a hat-trick of winners only for Siddikur Rahman to fade on day four of the Indian Open, but undeterred, we return with another quintet to consider at this week's European Tour event - the Joburg Open...
Joe Dyer: Back Thomas Aiken @ 23.022/1
"That event form is a major tick and his play in 2015 also warrants a wager with a top five in the South African Open as well as a top 10 at the Dubai Desert Classic."
*Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places
Dan Geraghty: Back Jared Harvey @ 401.0400/1
South Africans have won the last six renewals of the Joburg Open and there aren't many foreigners in this week's field who inspire me to take a punt on that run changing. In fact, I'm struggling for inspiration altogether this week so I will take a chance on an outsider at a huge price. Jared Harvey has a victory to his name at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington GC, and although it was only a two-round Big Easy tour event, he was also an impressive fifth at his national open earlier in the year, comfortably beating many seasoned pros including Ernie Els and Branden Grace. This South African bomber looks overpriced in a week field.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back David Drysdale @ 81.080/1
Backing someone who has missed his last three cuts may not seem like an obvious plan, but David Drysdale's previous in South Africa and this course in particular offer plenty of hope that he can return to the form shown either side of the New Year. Drysdale finished 2014 with three top-six finishes in this country and Australia, then started 2015 with 11th in the South African Open. Though rarely a factor in Europe, he regularly saves his best for these greens, finishing top-13 on four of the last six renewals here, including a couple of top-threes. Those poor results during the Gulf Swing were quite predictable as he never thrives in those conditions and, as he's only hit less than 69% of Greens in Regulation once since last September, his long game is clearly in decent shape.
Joe Dyer: Back Thomas Aiken @ 23.022/1
In a weak field I can't look beyond the market principals for my selection this week. And a glance at the top of the betting throws up a pleasant surprise in the shape of Thomas Aiken available to back at more than double the price of joint favourites Alex Noren and George Coetzee. Aiken, a three time European Tour winner (most recently in 2014), is a cut above most the field and must always come under consideration in his home country. And that is never more so that this week at a course which he absolutely loves (two top fives and one top 10 in the last four years). That event form is a major tick and his play in 2015 also warrants a wager with a top five in the South African Open as well as a top 10 at the Dubai Desert Classic. Last week's withdrawal was just due to a viral infection so there are no injury concerns.
Steven Rawlings: Back Garth Mulroy @ 67.066/1
There's been plenty of competition of late but the Joburg Open looks a candidate for the worst event of the season on the European Tour. That matters not though - there's a winner in there somewhere and four other places up for grabs so the one I like at a tasty price is two-time Joburg Open runner-up, Garth Mulroy. The 36-year-old South African hasn't had a bad career with three Sunshine Tour wins, a couple of victories in the States and a European Tour win at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2011. He hasn't been playing well of late but his 66 in the final round of the Dimension Data on Sunday was eye-catching enough and we do at least know he's performed well here in the past. He's 66/1 to go one better this time around and I thought that was fair in such a poor field.
Mike Norman: Back Richard Sterne @ 21.020/1
I'm similar to Joe in that I'm looking towards the head of the market this week, and I'm similar to Steve in that getting a local player on board - something I always do in these loq-quality South African events - is the way to play. In fact I'm in total agreement with Steve about the chances of previous winner Richard Sterne. I only have to refer you back to this article I did two years ago to see why I fancy the talented 33-year-old. True, he hasn't been in great form recently, but he's been mixing it up on the high-quality PGA Tour so coming back to this event represents a big drop in class. I'm not saying he's the best player in the field, but he's a multiple winner in his homeland and he's won this event twice before, including when I selected him in 2013. Fingers crossed for a repeat.
2015 P/L (£5 e/w per selection)
Year to date P/L: +£743.75
- Thailand Classic, Andrew Dodt @ 100/1 - WON (Paul)
- Malaysian Open, Anirban Lahiri @ 66/1 - WON (Dan)
- DD Classic, Stephen Gallacher @ 25/1 - PLACE (Steve)
*Total P/L for 2014: +£251.75