*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 6 Places
Tommy Fleetwood saw his Race to Dubai lead all but wiped out by Justin Rose's Turkish Airlines Open win but the latter is taking a risk in not teeing it up this week, allowing Fleetwood free reign to extend his lead - and I think he will do that substantially. Fleetwood was ranked 137th in the world when he tee'd it up at the Nedbank last year and bounced back from an opening 75 to finish 14th. He's a different golfer these days, looking down from his lofty position of 19th in the world rankings; the shaggy-haired Englishman is a fantastic ball striker, who combines accuracy and power - this week's Sun City course really should be ideal.
Sun City has always been a course where the cream tends to rise to the top but, while a case could be made for pretty much all the market leaders, it's very crowded up there. Instead, let's go for an outsider with plenty of pedigree. The fundamental reason why the formbook stands up well here is the emphasis on long game accuracy. Tee to green excellence has always been Gallacher's forte and he finished a solid 12th on his last, and only his second, visit in 2014. The Scot seems to be recapturing form after changing his grip, registering top-20s on four of his last seven starts and hitting an eyecatching percentage of greens in regulation. He's under-rated at these odds.
There was an awful lot to like about the way South Africa's Dylan Frittelli shrugged off defeat at the China Open in April with victory in Austria just three starts later and after a wonderful week in Turkey, where he chipped in five times over the weekend to finish runner-up to Justin Rose, I fancy he can cap off a stellar first season on the European Tour with victory in his homeland. Total Driving, Greens In Regulation and Scrambling were the three main stats I looked at for this tournament and Frittelli's numbers in those key indicators are decent. If he scrambles and putts like he did last week he'll go very close and he looks a decent price in a trappy event.
Whether he can hold his nerve to win in this company is open to debate but Kiradech Aphibarnrat is the man I like this week in his current form. The likeable Thai, a multiple winner on the European Tour, has been an ever-present on leaderboards in recent weeks, recording five consecutive top-25 finishes, and four top-15 finishes from his last seven starts, including three top 10s. He really should have won in Italy a few weeks ago but for a double bogey on his 70th hole of the week, but he bounced back well with excellent showings in high-quality fields in China and Turkey. He has experience of Sun City too - fifth in 2014 being his best finish - and he ranks very highly on the European Tour stats for Green In Regulation, which is always a key attribute to focus on at Sun City, as is Driving Accuracy so it's pleasing that he also ranks well in that discipline.
When I started my research for this week's each-way selection I didn't expect Fabrizio Zanotti to be the last man left standing, but a combination of price, current and course form makes the Paraguayan the pick. So there. While the course at the Gary Player CC is ludicrously long, accuracy counts for plenty as the rough is so penal and that is my man's trump card. Second for accuracy off the tee when finishing 16th at last year's running, he was eighth in that stat when finishing eighth at last week's Turkish Airlines Open. Those two results put ticks in the form boxes, and Zanotti's return to the top 10 of a European Tour event looks very timely. A win in Malaysia back in February set off a good patch of form, but spring and summer have largely passed by in a blur of average results. Third at the Omega European Masters snapped that run and last week, where Zanotti finished with three rounds at -5 or better, suggest this two-time Tour winner could be playing his best stuff. The 80/1 with six places paid will do for me.