Nedbank Golf Challenge: Three to back in the First Round Leader market

Danny Willett has fond memories of the Gary Player Country Club
Danny Willett has fond memories of the Gary Player Country Club

A high-class field has assembled for 'Africa's Major'. Dan Geraghty picks out three wagers for day one...

"It's fair to say winning last year's Nedbank Golf Challenge changed Danny Willett's career. The victory catapulted the Englishman to the fringes of the World's top 50 and he's not looked back since"

Just an hour-and-a-half separates all the tee times in Sun City on Thursday with calm conditions forecasted. There are no excuses for the 30 player field in the first round leader charge.

It's fair to say that winning last year's Nedbank Golf Challenge changed Danny Willett's career. The victory catapulted the Englishman to the fringes of the world's top 50 and he's not looked back since, currently sitting in 20th position in the rankings. Willett has vowed to follow the same game plan this year, being aggressive from the word go, taking on the huge golf course with driver at every opportunity. Given the nature of his dominant victory and the way his career's gone since, I think there's a strong case to be made for the Yorkshireman being favourite this week and I'm happy to take 14/1 each way about him making a strong start to his defence.

Having caught a glimpse at Wednesday's Pro Am scores I was disappointed to see my each way column selection Steven Bowditch limped home with a 74. However, Betting.Betfair's Mike Norman allayed my fears, recalling numerous tales of sportsmen who become different animals when in tournament mode on the big stage.

Having said that, particularly impressive scores in a Pro Am are perhaps something to give a little more credence too. A 64 is a 64 and that's exactly what Tommy Fleetwood shot in said Pro Am. Fleetwood has been struggling for form in recent months and was delighted to squeeze into the Nedbank field at the last minute when Kevin Na withdrew. The Englishman was 14th on his debut here last year, expect him to improve on that this week.

Thomas Aiken's dramatic 2014 Sunshine Tour OOM victory earned him his place in this week's field for his Nedbank Golf Challenge debut, an event he's dreamed about playing ever since he picked up a club; the South African has an excellent record on home soil and looked in good form last week when coming home in 18th place at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. Aiken made his professional debut at the Gary Player Country club in 2002 and although he missed the cut that week, he's now a vastly improved and experienced professional, the course should suit his accurate tee to green game.

Recommended Bets
Danny Willett @ 14/1
Tommy Fleetwood @ 40/1
Thomas Aiken @ 40/1

1 point E/W on each

Follow me on twitter: @dangeraghty10

2015 First Round Leader P&L


Staked: 84pts
Returned: 26pts
P&L: -58pts

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles