Joburg Open First-Round Leader Tips: Burmester looks best

South African Dean Burmester
Dean Burmester can make a fast start

The European Tour heads to South Africa and Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader at Firethorn...

"In his last five starts he's been the first-round leader at the Irish Open (65) and second after day one of the Italian Open (64)."

Back Dean Burmester each-way @ 45/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 7 places

Weather forecast for Randpark: Temperatures are in the early 90s in the morning with winds around 8mph. The sunshine still beams in the afternoon but there's the chance of a thunderstorm and the wind could just pick up a little.

Strategy With two course being used in this event previously, past data isn't that helpful as most of the low Thursday scores came on the Bushwillow. As for the weather, I'd be leaning towards the morning wave, who should get a clear round in before the chance of t-storms.

Burmester can burst out of the blocks

One of the most attractive three-balls of the day heads out at 07:20 from the 10th as Dean Burmester tees it up alongside South African compatriot Danie Van Tonder and Spain's Adri Arnaus.

And it's Burmester I like best.

A nice stat from Andy Swales' form guide is that no-one in the field has more top 20 finishes in European Tour events staged in South Africa during the past five years than Burmester.

The monster-hitting local man returns home with confidence high after taking fifth at the Italian Open on his latest start.

He ranked 1st Off The Tee and 4th Tee To Green in that event, a contrast to earlier in the summer when he had the hottest putter on the European Tour.

If he can put those two elements together...

Well, that's the dream of everyone but Burmester seems to do it best in round one.

In his last five starts he's been the first-round leader at the Irish Open (65) and second after day one of the Italian Open (64).

As for this week's venue, his last three opening scores here are 68, 67 and 66.

Go the obvious route and back him at 45/1.

Bank on Blauww

I'm going to get one of the most in-form South Africans running for me by backing Jacques Blaauw.

The 34-year-old has hit a rich veinin recent weeks with a run of four straight top sixes.

The latest came at the Time Square Casino Challenge a couple of weeks ago and in two of those four events he's started with a round of 65.

He was in the top four after 18 holes in both those events and was also sixth following the opening lap of the previous tournament.

Winding back to last year and he topped the R1 leaderboard at both the Zambia Open and Zombard Insurance Classic.

He's played this venue plenty of times and his best result came last time when 15th in the South African Open in January.

Blaauw is in the very first group out from No.10 at 06:30 local.

There's enough there for a punt at 66/1.

Look to Lombard

It was only last year that Zander Lombard was setting the pace in an elite field in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

He went on to finish tied eighth there before he added a tied seventh on his next start at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

His form has rather fallen off a cliff on the European Tour since play resumed in the summer and that's why he's down at 90/1 to be the first-round leader.

However, despite the ugly results, he's still shot a round in the 60s in his last four tournaments, the latest a 68 in round two of the Cyprus Showdown.

In December 2018, Lombard shot an opening 64 at the Firethorn course to make a fast start in the South African Open.

Returning to home South African soil after his disappointing time in Europe could produce a spark and that 90/1 may just prove a great bet.

He's also a morning starter at 07:40 from the 10th.

Dave's First Round Leader P/L

Staked: £930
Returned: £445.35
P/L: -£484.65

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