EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 7 Places
This has been a career year for Paul Waring and he enters the penultimate tournament of the season ranked 19th on the Race to Dubai. The Liverpool fan hasn't finished outside the top 28 in any of his last eight starts and that run includes tied third at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, tied eighth against an elite field at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China and tied 16th in last week's Turkish Airlines Open. He's ranked in the top 10 for Greens in Regulation in his last two starts and approach play is a big asset this week. The 34-year-old has had two previous starts in Sun City, finishing tied 19th on debut in 2017 and tied 35th last year. He was also runner-up in the 2017 Joburg Open. On his current form, he has to have a strong chance of making the frame and maybe going all the way.
Mikko Korhonen's record in South Africa reads better than his nonetheless respectable form elsewhere, and his Sun City debut was no exception. Sure, this is a higher standard of event than the Tshwane Open, for which he contended two years running, but he sat third through 54 holes here last year. The Finnish star is generally seen to best effect on courses where hitting greens in regulation is at a premium, and that certainly applies to Sun City's smaller than average, quick, putting surfaces. A winner in each of the last two seasons, Korhonen arrives in solid form after making ten straight cuts.
Scott Jamieson cannot possibly be described as resolute in-contention but he's a big enough price at 80/1 to chance here with seven places up for grabs in a country where he's consistently thrived. His one and only victory to date came in the now defunct Nelson Mandela Championship in 2012, an event reduced to just 36 holes due to rain, and he has numerous placed efforts, including here at Sun City on his only previous appearance when he finished second to home favourite, Branden Grace. He really should have won the Volvo Golf Champions at Durban Country Club in 2013, when he led by five with a round to go, and in addition to that effort, and his second place finish here two years ago, where he led through 54 holes, he's also let third round leads slip at the Tshwane Open in 2017 and at the Alfred Dunhill Championship last year at Leopard Creek - an event he also finished fourth in - in 2016. As well as an incredible bank of South African form, after a tenth placed finish last week in Turkey, he brings a bit of current form to the table too.
You can't beat a bit of local knowledge with a South African tournament and I'll take a chance on Justin Harding this week. The South African enjoyed a golden spell between December and April, winning the Qatar Masters and finishing in a tie for 12th at The Masters. That high finish in Augusta was the full stop on that good run and in truth it's been a very humdrum summer but a mediocre run was stopped by a tie for seventh in Spain early last month and while last week's 25th doesn't look special he did sit in sixth place after the second round. While not achieved in the Nedbank, Harding has a pair of top 10s at the course in the last two years via the Sun City Challenge and the 60/1 is enough to justify a bet.
I always like to back a South African player when a tournament is being played in the Rainbow Nation so Richard Sterne is my man this week at a triple-figure price. The 38-year-old has enjoyed a largely consistent season without seriously threatening to win a trophy in recent months, though his second in Abu Dhabi at the start of the year proved he's every inch a serious contender for any tournament on his day. Finding the fairways will be key for Sterne as from the short grass he has a great approach game and he'll be very comfortable putting on greens he's very much used to. In the last three years he's finished 21st, 19th and 20th in this very event so we know he enjoys the Sun City test too, and just a small improvement on those last three Nedbank finishes will see him challenge for a pay-out place at least. At 100/1 it's worth chancing this six-time European Tour winner will find that small improvement.