The Betfair golf team pick out a quintet to follow at this week's co-sanctioned event in Pretoria...
"Otto has won here twice already on the Sunshine Tour and he’s more than capable of bringing up the hat-trick at an industry best price of 60/1."
Steve Rawlings: Back Hennie Otto @ 60/1
*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 6 Places
Dave Tindall: Back Scott Jamieson @ 55/1
Here's a player who has often excelled in South Africa. Jamieson's one European Tour win came there when he took home the beautifully-crafted trophy for the Nelson Mandela Championship in December 2012 (see below). More recently, he took T4 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2016 while back in December he finished runner-up in the prestigious Nedbank Golf Challenge. Tshwane form of T35 (2015) and T22 (2017) looks decent but let's remember that he was tied for the 54-hole lead in this event last year before unravelling on Sunday. His battling final-round 70 in the Nedbank will help eradicate some of those memories and he also closed with a 69 to take T17 in Malaysia two starts ago. He's putting nicely and anything over 50/1 looks worth a play.
Not only did Scott Jamieson win the Nelson Mandela Championship, he scooped the best trophy ever!!! pic.twitter.com/4ASd4XGV— Iain Auld (@auldyboy) December 10, 2012
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Richard Sterne @ 28/1
The signals from past Tshwane Opens are crystal clear. South Africans will fill most places inside the top-20, most of whom will be among the small group with pedigree, or at least potential, beyond the relatively low-grade Sunshine Tour. Having power off the tee is another big help. Only a few can tick every box at this level but Richard Sterne is certainly one of them. He hasn't contended seriously since the end of the 2016 at Leopard Creek but Sterne's results in Europe read very well in this grade - making his last 14 cuts with five top-20 finishes, including among much stronger company in Abu Dhabi. He was fourth when last playing this event two years ago and has won at the course before.
Steve Rawlings: Back Hennie Otto @ 60/1
With a dozen Sunshine Tour wins and three European Tour titles to his name, Hennie Otto is one of the best players in the line-up this week. Injury has dogged the 41-year-ol Boksburg pro for a number of years but he's shown some promise over the last couple of months (13th in the Joburg Open and 12th in the South Africa Open the highlights) so I'm more than happy to chance him at a local venue he clearly loves. Otto has won here twice already on the Sunshine Tour and he's more than capable of bringing up the hat-trick at an industry best price of 60/1.
Joe Dyer: Back Jacques Blaauw @ 40/1
Once again, the European Tour presents us with a pretty thin offering and a field that takes a bit of study. And spending some time doing just that I have alighted on Jacques Blaauw for my tenner this week for a couple of basic reasons - course and current form. A runner-up in this event in 2015, Blaauw was sixth last year so clearly enjoys the challenge at Pretoria CC. Cross reference that with his current form, which shows a best finish of fourth at the BMW SA Open against a similar quality field and a further top 10 and top 20, and he looks a solid bet at 40/1. As Paul says, there will be plenty of home players in the top 20 of this event and Blaauw looks a fair price to be among them.
Mike Norman: Back Justin Walters @ 45/1
Not untypical for a South African-born player most of Justin Walters' career-best performances have come in his homeland. But although his two professional victories to date were on the Sunshine Tour, the 37-year-old has certainly held his head high in recent seasons on the European Tour, most notably in 2016 when he finished T3 at the Joburg Open, fourth at the SA Open, and fourth again in this very event, the Tshwane Open, over the same course that he will play this week. Walters was again on the premises at last year's renewal, eventually recording a top 10 finish. And it was only towards the end of last season that Walters produced one of his best ever efforts on the European Tour when finishing third at the KLM Open. Recent form is nothing to shout home about but he did make the cut on his first European Tour outing for nearly two months in Qatar last week, and now back in his homeland, and at a venue he clearly enjoys playing, I can see him going very well again.
2018 Season P/L to date: +£100.00
- 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)
* Total P/L for 2017 Season: -£336.17
* Total P/L for 2016 Season: +£267.58
* Total P/L for 2015 Season: +£958.37
* Total P/L for 2014 Season: +£251.75