Paul Krishnamurty's weekly search for value outsiders takes in the Joburg Open, where he recommends three highly capable characters at huge odds...
"Quotes of 180.0179/1 about recent Sunshine Tour winner Tjaart Van Der Walt are crazy. This is a player who has previously finished runner-up on both the European and PGA Tours and regularly popped up in contention for these co-sanctioned affairs."
It was rather excrutiating to watch three players who have recently featured in this column all trade short en route to a top-four finish in last week's very high-class Dubai Desert Classic. Emiliano Grillo, Romain Wattel and Brooks Koepka may all have come up slightly short of a breakthrough win, but all confirmed their potential and ability to surprise at massive odds. This week, despite a vastly weaker field lining up for the Joburg Open, it is again possible to back three players regular readers will know all about at triple-figure odds.
First up, 120.0119/1 about Jbe Kruger strikes me as impossible to justify. A regular contender in his homeland, Kruger bagged a healthy profit for us when a gallant second in the South African Open last November. Yet in typically fickle fashion, the market has over-reacted to three missed cuts during the Gulf Swing. Such failures are easily overlooked, as Kruger rarely if ever thrives in that type of event, saving his best for the much slower greens of his homeland or the Asian Tour.
Using the same logic, 180.0179/1 about recent Sunshine Tour winner Tjaart Van Der Walt is crazy. This is a player who has previously finished runner-up on both the European and PGA Tours and regularly popped up in contention for these co-sanctioned affairs. His form at Royal Johannesburg is not bad either, registering consecutive top-20s in 2010 and 2011, finishing seventh in the latter.
Finally, it would be no surprise to see Eduardo De La Riva enter the winners' enclosure soon and odds of 270.0269/1 are plenty generous enough. There is no greater guide to a player's wellbeing than the greens in regulation stats, so it must bode well that De La Riva ranks sixth on the European Tour for that discipline over the last six months. The result has been consistent earnings, with only two cuts missed since July. His best form - third in the Open de France - is high-class and he has shown some form in South Africa too, finishing second in the 2012 Nelson Mandela Championship.
The trading plan is to stake five units in total on the trio, then place lay orders on each at 12.011/1 and 3.02/1. If any of them hits the first target, we'll be guaranteed to at least triple the initial outlay.
Back Jbe Kruger 2.5u @ 120.0119/1
Back Tjaart Van der Walt 1.5u @ 180.0179/1
Back Eduardo De La Riva 1u @ 270.0269/1
Place order to lay each player 15u @ 12.011/1
Place order to lay each player 20u @ 3.02/1
Updated 2014 Stats: -15.5 units