South Africa Open Championship Tips: Each-way selections for the first event of 2015

Jordi Garcia Pinto - Dan's 300-1 back this week

After a profitable 2014 we're back for another year of each-way betting on the main golf tours and with a small field on the PGA Tour we are sending our fantastic five to the South African Open to get us off to a winning start  

"Norway's Espen Kofstad is injury-free now and looks to be coming in under the radar if his 14th place finish at Leopard Creek last month is anything to go by. He ranked fifth for greens in regulation there (the key stat to consider this week) and he looks an interesting contender at 200/1."

Steven Rawlings: Back Espen Kofstad @ 201.0200/1

*Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places


Dan Geraghty: Back Jordi Garcia Pinto @ 301.0300/1

Jordi Garcia Pinto turned down the chance of playing the European Tour Q School finals on his home course (PGA Catalunya Resort) in 2013 and opted to spend the following year learning his trade on the Challenge Tour circuit instead. It could prove a shrewd decision in the long term; the Spaniard cruised to seventh place in the 2014 Challenge tour rankings and a 2015 European Tour card. Pinto says his time on the Challenge tour has taught him how to prepare and ultimately win, he looks overpriced at this year's opening event and has a good opportunity to strike early in what looks a top heavy field.


Paul Krishnamurty: Back Merrick Bremner @ 67.066/1

While the leading handful look a cut above the rest, there's always a question mark about form for the first event of the year and the likes of Charl Schwartzel, Ernie Els and George Coetzee were hardly on fire at the end of 2013. Let's take them on with a home player, (never to be underestimated when betting in South Africa), with course form to die for. In the last three BMG Classics held at Glendower, Bremner's numbers are a mightily impressive 1/2/4. Granted, that Sunshine Tour event is much weaker, but Bremner also finished a respectable 17th in last year's Open. Though he's yet to challenge in one of these bigger, co-sanctioned Race to Dubai affairs, he did record a couple of top-10s during last year's South African Swing and also caught a few European eyes when third in the Czech Masters.


Joe Dyer: Back Trevor Fisher Jnr @ 51.050/1

First things first this is not the ideal event to make a profitable start to a year of golf betting. We have a massive field featuring many names, some old and some new and some unknown (to me at least), a few quality operators at the top of the field and far too many unknowns. And bar a few players, most of this lot haven't been seen on a golf course for four weeks. What we do know about my selection Trevor Fisher Jnr is that when he's turned out in recent weeks he has either put up a good performance or bombed (two top fives, two missed cuts) and the same seems true about his appearances at Glendower (three top 10s, two missed cuts). That combination of good course and current form is good enough for me at 50-1 and his very strong greens in regulation stats offer a further reason to press the back button. I just hope he picked his clubs at some point over the festive period! 


Steven Rawlings: Back Espen Kofstad @ 201.0200/1

Norway's Espen Kofstad has been dogged by injury since he won twice on the Challenge Tour to top the money list in 2012 and he had to earn his European Tour card at Q-School in November - more than seven months after he'd last played anywhere competitively. He's injury-free now and looks to be coming in under the radar if his 14th place finish at Leopard Creek last month is anything to go by. He ranked fifth for greens in regulation there (the key stat to consider this week) and he looks an interesting contender at 200/1.


Mike Norman: Back Edoardo Molinari @ 34.033/1

I'm usually a big fan of backing South African players in their home country; recent results are pretty hard to ignore with 'home' players winning around 75% of European Tour tournaments staged in the Rainbow Nation during the last 10 years or so. But there are question marks about those at the head of the market - eith from a form or value perspective - so I'm taking a chance on a man who showed that he's ready for a return to the limelight last season. Plagued by injuries down the years, Eddy Mol is an extremely talented player at his best, and crucially when he's fit. He was superb on his way to making the 2010 Ryder Cup team, including finishing fourth in this event, and last year he showed that he is ready to return to the winner's enclosure when finishing top-10 at the Dubai Desert Classic and when recording top-four finishes at the Irish and Wales Opens.


2015 P/L (£5 e/w per selection)

*will be detailed here from next week onwards

Total P/L for 2014: +£251.75

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