South African Open First-Round Leader Tips: Look to Lombard again

Zander Lombard can start fast again
Zander Lombard can start fast again

The South African Open returns to Gary Player Country Club and Dave Tindall has three each-way picks to be First Round Leader...

"He was fourth after day one at this week's course, Gary Player Country Club, in the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge."

Back Zander Lombard E/W @ 34.033/1

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, 6 places

Weather forecast for Thursday: The forecast for day one shows very light winds in the morning but they get slightly stronger in the afternoon. As you'd expect for a place called Sun City, there's a big yellow disc in the sky but there's a few darker clouds and a chance of rain later in the golfing day. Temperatures could peak in the early 90s.

Look to Lombard

I put up Zander Lombard in this column last week at 66/1 and he grabbed some each-way money by finishing in a tie for fourth after 18 holes at the Joburg Open.

The local man went on to finish runner-up, those who'd backed him in the outright market frustrated that he was denied the chance to reel in the leader due to the tournament being reduced to 36 holes.

The fancy FRL prices have gone of course but the plus side is that we know he's bang in form and should be raring to go again.

Lombard has now finished inside the top eight after the opening lap in three of his last four tournaments and I'll back him to hit the ground running again.

He was fourth after day one at this week's course, Gary Player Country Club, in the 2019 Nedbank Golf Challenge so that has to bode well too.

Take the 33/1 on Lombard, who starts out at 07:00.

Haig can hit the heights

Anton Haig looked to have a huge career in front of him when capturing the co-sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic in 2007 at the age of just 21.

Since then, he's suffered lost cards and at one point Haig retired from the game due to injury.

As for the here and now, Haig is enjoying some good times again. In the last two starts he's finished fourth at the Blair Atholl Championship and 10th at the South African PGA Championship.

As for course form, back in 2006 he finished third in a Sunshine Tour event here and more recently at Gary Player Country Club he's posted 10th (2018 Sun City Challenge) and 8th (2020 Royal Swazi Open).

He looks an interesting contender this week and I like him for first-round leader at 66/1. Haig heads out at 11:50 local.

Keep trust in Trevor

The weather suggests a second early starter is the way to go so I'll plump for Trevor Fisher, Jr. again.

He didn't get going on day one when I tipped him in Joburg last week but could be worth persevering with.

Before that, his R1 positions in the last six Sunshine Tour events were 4-7-25-28-1 so last week was the outlier.

At this venue, he owns a second and a third from way back but tied 11th in October's Blue Label Challenge was a decent effort and, looking at Thursday's leaderboard, he was seventh after day one in that event.

Back the 07:30 starter at 80/1.

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