Nedbank Golf Challenge 2018: A quintet of selections for the Sun City spectacle

South African golfer Branden Grace
Mike fancies Branden Grace to go well in his homeland this week

We're off to the beautiful Sun City resort for this week's European Tour offering as a decent field - headlined by Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia - look to hold off a strong home challenge. Here's the betting.befair team's five each-way tips...

"The list of back-to-back and/or repeat winners of this event since it was first staged in 1981 is highly impressive; the likes of Seve, David Frost, Nick Price, Bernhard Langer, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, and Lee Westwood have all won around Sun City at least twice and Grace would not look out of place if he were to join that list."

EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 6 Places

Dave Tindall: Back Darren Fichardt @ 100/1

With Branden Grace, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel in the field, a home challenge looks likely but it may come from a less obvious source. Darren Fichardt has a Sunshine Tour win at Gary Player CC back in the day but, more recently, an excellent T6 last year when scoring was tough. He returns home on the back of T23 in the Turkish Airlines Open where he spoke of taking a less aggressive approach. That could be prudent here given that bogeys lurk for those not on their game. The veteran starts the week ranked 72nd on the Race to Dubai so is battling to book a spot in the top 60 who go through to next week's season-ender in Dubai. Fichardt has top sevens at Wentworth and the South African Open this year and could make an impact at a three-figure price on a course he knows like the back of his hand

Paul Krishnamurty: Back Erik Van Rooyen @ 50/1

Erik Van Rooyen has been one of this season's most impressive rookies and must be rated highly likely to land a breakthrough win soon. It is no surprise that his highest finish came on home turf when second at the Joburg Open and the forthcoming South African winter should provide numerous great opportunities. His best form has come against very high-class company - leading until the closing holes in the Irish Open and contending for three rounds at the Open Championship - and respectable efforts over the past fortnight confirm his wellbeing. He's only played Sun City competitively once - finishing ninth in a Sunshine Tour event two years ago - but one would suspect most leading South Africans know this course inside out.

Steve Rawlings: Back Matthias Schwab @ 80/1

Young Austrian Matthias Schwab has enjoyed a comfortable first European Tour campaign and he's ending the season nicely, having finished no worse than 27th in each of his last four starts. Hitting greens and getting up-and down when you miss them will be the key to success around the Gary Player Country Club this week and Schwab ranks highly for both Greens In Regulation and Scrambling. This is the 24-year-old's first visit to Sun City but I can see him thriving given his skillset and he wouldn't be the first debutant to perform well here of late. Last year's winner, Branden Grace, had course form to boast but the three winners before him were all playing here for the first time.

Joe Dyer: Back Mikko Korhonen @ 100/1

Mikko Korhonen is out among the rags at 100/1 this week but you could certainly make a case for a shorter price given the small field and the Finn's passion for South African golf. The 38-year-old was third on his last visit to the country, just three shots off winner George Coetzee at the Tshwane Open, an event where he'd finished runner-up in 2017. Add in a tie for seventh at the BMW SA Open and a top 20 at the Africa Open and it seems there is something about golf in South Africa that suits my selection's game, which is based on an accuracy off tee and fairway and golden touch on the greens. After taking a week off following a third place finish at the Valderrama Masters, Korhonen made an acceptable midtable return to action at last week's Turkish Airlines Open. Happily his golf improved across the weekend shooting 65-68 to point to a game finding its groove. And he is very capable of putting in a strong showing the week after a poor performance - he won the Shot Clock Masters having missed the cut at the Italian Open and finished third at the Tshwane after failing to make the weekend at the Qatar Masters.

Mike Norman: Back Branden Grace @ 16/1

With four selections already made ranging from 50/1 to 100/1 it gives me an opportunity to play at the top of the market, and another opportunity to shout out one of my golden rules of golf betting. When in South Africa, back a South African. There isn't much to recommend Branden Grace on current form, but then again there wasn't last year either - a T15 was his highest finish from his previous eight events - before he went on to win this title. Defending is never easy in golf but the list of back-to-back and/or repeat winners of this event since it was first staged in 1981 (albeit it was a very limited field for many years) is highly impressive; the likes of Seve, David Frost, Nick Price, Bernhard Langer, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, and Lee Westwood have all won around Sun City at least twice and Grace would not look out of place if he were to join that list. One of South Africa's finest players in recent years the 30-year-old has finished fourth, third and first in the last three renewals of this tournament and that's good enough for me this week.

2018 Season P/L to date: + £772.16

- Andalucia Valderrama Masters, Ashley Chesters @ 66/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Alfred Dunhill Links, Padraig Harrington @ 50/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Portugal Masters, Lucas Herbert @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- KLM Dutch Open, Thomas Detry @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Omega European Masters, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 28/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Made In Denmark, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Mike)
- Made In Denmark, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Czech Masters, Andrea Pavan @ 50/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Czech Masters, Lee Slattery @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- US PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka @ 20/1 - WIN (Dave)
- US PGA Championship, Gary Woodland @ 125/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- WGC-Bridgestone, Brooks Koepka @ 25/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- The Open, Tiger Woods @ 30/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Scottish Open, Ryan Fox @ 45/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Irish Open, Russell Knox @ 28/1 - WIN (Dave)
- BMW International Open, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Steve)
- BMW International Open, Martin Kaymer @ 33/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Italian Open, Lee Westwood @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- BMW PGA Championship, Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Belgian Knockout, Benjamin Hebert @ 50/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Belgian Knockout, Jorge Campillo @ 28/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Rocco Forte Open, Lucas Herbert @ 125/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Golf Sixes, South Korea @ 16/1 - PLACE (Steve & Paul)
- Volvo China Open, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 200/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- US Masters, Bubba Watson @ 16/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Hero Indian Open, Andrew Johnston @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Oman Open, Jorge Campillo @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Maybank Championship, Shubhankar Sharma @ 60/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Dubai Desert Classic, Alex Levy @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- UBS Hong Kong Open, Paul Peterson @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)

*2017 P/L: -£306.84
*2016 P/L: +£267.58
*2015 P/L: +£958.37
*2014 P/L: +£251.75

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

Read past articles