South African Open: Form guide for this week's event in Sun City

Sun City: Host of South Africa's national open this week
Although Sun City is a stunning location for golf, it's also a beast of a course at over 7,800 yards

The Gary Player-designed Sun City is hosting the South African Open for the first time. Check out course and current form stats supplied by Andy Swales...

"Only one par-four is less than 440 yards, while all par-three holes are over 210. The shortest par-five is 547 yards. From tee-to-green, it remains a course ready to penalise any errant shot thanks to its narrow fairways and small but fast putting surfaces."

Week three of the European Tour's journey across South Africa takes the players to Sun City for the national open.

When the original pre-Covid Tour schedule was announced late last year, Sun City had been due to stage the Nedbank Challenge in mid-November.

It would have been the second of three Final Series events on Tour, with a total prize fund of $7.5m.

But that was all scrapped in March, amid lockdowns around the world, and when golf re-surfaced in June the calendar looked very different.

Although this week's South African Open does not carry anywhere near the same level of prize money as the Nedbank, it remains a prestigious title for those born in the country.

The South African Open, which was first staged in 1903, is one of the oldest national championships in the world, with the nation's greatest ever golfer - Gary Player - winning the tournament 13 times.

And it was Player who designed this week's course at Sun City which is laid out inside an extinct volcanic crater.

Check out the latest betting for this week's South African Open

Opened in 1979, the course is located in the north-west of the country, around 100 miles from Pretoria, and a slightly longer distance from Johannesburg.

This parkland venue has Kikuyu grass fairways and Bentgrass putting surfaces, and was carved out of densely-wooded rolling countryside.

Monster length

At more than 7,800 yards in length, the course demands solid, accurate ball-striking, with both power and accuracy required in abundance.

Although the ball flies further than normal, due to the course being just over 1,000 feet above sea level, it still requires plenty of hefty swipes to get to grips with this venue.

Only one par-four is less than 440 yards, while all par-three holes are over 210. The shortest par-five is 547 yards.

From tee-to-green, it remains a course ready to penalise any errant shot thanks to its narrow fairways and small but fast putting surfaces.

The South African Open has been part of the European Tour schedule for 23 years, although this will be the first time the event has been hosted by Sun City.

The course has been a regular venue for two events on South Africa's Sunshine Tour.

Up until 2009, it hosted the Dimension Data Pro-Am, as well as staging the Sun City Challenge between 2007 and 2011, and again from 2016. Less than two months ago, the course also hosted the Investec Royal Swazi Open.

Bezuidenhout 'top seed'

Last week's winner at Leopard Creek, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, is the highest-ranked golfer taking part at Sun City.

Less than a third of those competing in the national open have played in the Nedbank Challenge, although most of the South African golfers on display this week will have experienced Sun City during Sunshine Tour events.

Among those to have registered good Sunshine Tour results at this course are JC Ritchie, Louis De Jager and Neil Schietekat.

The latter has finished first and second here, as well as tieing-for-11th in the recently co-sponsored Joburg Open.

Latest betting for this year's Race to Dubai title

Young Wilco Nienaber, the world No 186, may be able to utilise his big hitting to good effect and secure a maiden victory.

The 20-year-old prodigy finished second at Randpark two weeks ago, after leading through 54 holes.

Another big hitter is Brandon Stone while the accuracy of Garrick Higgo, 21, should prove helpful on a course where he won the Sun City Challenge in 2019.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

MC* - Missed Additional 54-Hole Cut

Note: List Contains Leading Reserves

Course Form Table Shows Nedbank Challenge Results (2013-19) And Lists T-25 Finishes In Sunshine Tour Events (2016-20) At Sun City.

Last 10 Weeks / Sun City Form

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W48 W47 W46 W45 W44 W43 W42 W41 W40 W39
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 1 15 38 40 MC
Dylan Frittelli MC 5 MC 11 69 34 MC
George Coetzee MC MC 59 48
Garrick Higgo MC 61 MC 3 27 26 MC
Shaun Norris MC 3 28 MC
Matthias Schwab 13 MC 21 30 37 MC 56
Daniel Van Tonder 39 76 1 28 1 1
Joost Luiten 31 MC MC* 53 10 MC 19 11
JC Ritchie MC MC 41 5 MC
Brandon Stone 23 4 16 MC 19
Dean Burmester MC 18 5 MC MC MC 22
Wilco Nienaber 12 2 MC 53 MC 48
Calum Hill 13 MC 41 25 63 28
Scott Vincent 17 30 MC 49 MC
Pablo Larrazabal 39 MC* MC 27 59
Connor Syme MC MC MC 37 48 MC
Darren Fichardt 55 11 5 43 MC 4
Jaco Ahlers MC MC 24 20 28 2 8
Jamie Donaldson MC 19 3 39 9
Ross McGowan MC MC MC 1 MC 67
Scott Jamieson 6 20 48 37 MC 36 54
Richard Bland 2 7 16 MC 16 MC 14
Adrian Meronk 2 MC MC MC 22 51 10
Johannes Veerman 25 35 4 34 46 Wd
Oliver Farr 20 30 MC MC 9 39
Justin Walters 25 30 MC 16 MC MC
Darius Van Driel 44 MC 30 33 60
Dale Whitnell 17 35 MC 6 22 MC 39
Sebastian Rodriguez Garcia 39 74 MC* 66 MC MC
Richard Sterne 47 MC
Louis De Jager MC 42 9 34 22 17 4
Adrien Saddier MC MC MC 9 MC 6
Thriston Lawrence MC MC 24 40 18 7 14
Zander Lombard MC 15 MC
Robin Roussel 31 MC MC MC 53 MC
Matthieu Pavon 57 MC MC 49 30 27 55
Adilson Da Silva MC 70 4 MC 2 24
Yikeun Chang 42 MC 63 39 Wd
Jonathan Caldwell MC 35 16 MC 5 7 54
Shubhankar Sharma MC MC MC* 14 37 48 26 64
Bryce Easton MC 7 MC 16 16
MJ Viljoen 51 56 MC 3 35 7 2
Lorenzo Gagli MC MC 41 55 MC MC
Joel Sjoholm MC 23 MC* 58 22 69
Neil Schietekat MC 11 24 2 MC MC 8
Martin Rohwer 44 15 5 MC
Steve Surry 51 4 MC
Aaron Cockerill MC 4 MC 14 22 MC 58
David Drysdale MC MC MC 10 MC 51 MC MC MC
Ben Stow MC MC MC 16 14
Cormac Sharvin 25 MC MC 28 60 MC MC
Jacques Blaauw MC 7 5 6 2 4 18
Julian Suri 35 23 MC 21 MC 36 MC
Anton Karlsson MC 29 MC MC
Jacques Kruyswijk MC MC
Ricardo Santos MC MC MC 34 MC 63
Nacho Elvira MC MC* MC MC 54 MC 39
Lars Van Meijel MC 7 MC MC 53 43 35
Philip Eriksson 39 MC 11 63 MC
Rhys Enoch MC 29 12 MC
Nicolai Hojgaard MC MC 16 MC
Hennie Du Plessis 25 35 MC 36 5 MC
Garrick Porteous 47 MC MC MC 4 39
Julien Guerrier MC 44 MC 48
Alvaro Quiros MC 42 MC 53 MC MC MC
Ockie Strydom 57 79 MC 21 12 MC MC
Daan Huizing 51 MC MC MC 14
Merrick Bremner MC MC MC 14 1 MC MC
Gregory Havret MC 21 60
Keith Horne MC 66 12 4 35 8
Jbe Kruger 35 35 24 MC
Keenan Davidse MC MC 5 7 2 MC
Jaco Van Zyl 54 MC 14 12 Wd
Ruan Korb MC 66 1 21 MC 6 MC
Haydn Porteous MC MC MC 68 MC MC MC
David Dixon MC MC
Deon Germishuys MC 56 3 14 12 MC MC
Toby Tree MC 20 Wd MC 46 MC 14
Peter Karmis 35 13 8 5 42 MC
Benjamin Poke MC 42 MC 56 MC
Jean-Paul Strydom 60 MC MC 36 MC
Jean Hugo MC MC
Matias Calderon MC MC
Luke Jerling MC MC MC 33 23 40 8
Jake Roos MC MC MC 11 MC MC 21
Anton Haig MC 56 2 8 MC 12 MC
MJ Daffue MC MC MC 12
Toto Thimba MC MC Wd MC MC MC MC
Jaco Prinsloo MC 42 20 29 MC MC 44
Jayden Trey Schaper 2 18 17 MC 5 7 29
Gonzalo F`dez-Castano MC 30 Wd 58 39 33
Oliver Bekker 31 MC 5 8 12 MC 18
Trevor Fisher 60 MC
Hennie Otto MC 66 35 MC MC 24 31
David Boote 5 21 MC
Anthony Michael 47 MC 5 24 10 17 MC
David Law MC MC 33 MC MC 35
Ryan Lumsden 61
Jack Harrison MC 61 MC
Carlos Pigem MC 21 MC 68 MC MC
Ruan Conradie 63 Wd Wd MC 9 MC MC
Michael G Palmer MC MC 24 13 MC 36
Daniel Greene MC 66 33
Stephen Ferreira MC MC MC MC
James Hart Du Preez 57 23 MC MC MC MC MC
Alex Haindl Wd MC 29 5 MC MC
Jake Redman MC 42 3 31 MC MC 14
Robbie Van West 48 MC MC
Ruan De Smidt MC 51 MC MC MC MC MC
Estiaan Conradie MC 35 MC 19
Benjamin Follett-Smith 64 51 MC MC
Mitch Waite MC 34
Marcel Siem 35 56 Wd 45 35
Christiaan Basson 35 MC 24 36 11 17 MC
Aron Zemmer 16 13 MC MC 46
JJ Senekal MC MC MC MC MC MC MC
Callum Mowat MC MC 13 39 12 17 44
Andre Nel MC 13 MC MC
Richard McEvoy 25 42 MC 49 MC MC 69
Pedro Figueiredo 17 70 MC 53 MC 43
David Howell MC MC MC MC 65 56 MC
Dylan Naidoo 60 MC MC 14 18 MC 31
CJ Du Plessis MC MC MC 27 MC MC
Yurav Premlall
Casey Jarvis MC
Jesper Sandborg 57 MC MC
Stanislav Matus 40 26 30
James Kingston 44 MC 38 MC MC
Rourke Van der Spuy 55 MC MC 45 35
James Kamte
Christo Lamprecht
Kyle De Beer
Samuel Simpson
Adriel Poonan MC MC 43 MC MC
Austin Bautista MC
David Ravetto
Player 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 24
Dylan Frittelli 21 42
George Coetzee 30 41 37 25 16
Garrick Higgo
Shaun Norris
Matthias Schwab 41
Daniel Van Tonder 29
Joost Luiten 10 27 12 14 24 16
JC Ritchie
Brandon Stone 60 66 69
Dean Burmester 11 42
Wilco Nienaber
Calum Hill
Scott Vincent
Pablo Larrazabal 48 27 60 39 16
Connor Syme
Darren Fichardt 9 6 12
Jaco Ahlers 21
Jamie Donaldson Wd 2
Ross McGowan
Scott Jamieson 44 2
Richard Bland 20
Adrian Meronk
Johannes Veerman
Oliver Farr
Justin Walters
Darius Van Driel
Dale Whitnell
Sebastian Rodriguez Garcia
Richard Sterne 60 21 19 20 14
Louis De Jager
Adrien Saddier
Thriston Lawrence
Zander Lombard 8
Robin Roussel
Matthieu Pavon 60 19
Adilson Da Silva
Yikeun Chang
Jonathan Caldwell
Shubhankar Sharma 56 27
Bryce Easton
MJ Viljoen
Lorenzo Gagli
Joel Sjoholm
Neil Schietekat
Martin Rohwer
Steve Surry
Aaron Cockerill
David Drysdale 42 49
Ben Stow
Cormac Sharvin
Jacques Blaauw
Julian Suri 42
Anton Karlsson
Jacques Kruyswijk
Ricardo Santos
Nacho Elvira 13 54 29 25
Lars Van Meijel
Philip Eriksson
Rhys Enoch
Nicolai Hojgaard
Hennie Du Plessis
Garrick Porteous
Julien Guerrier 41
Alvaro Quiros 24
Ockie Strydom
Daan Huizing
Merrick Bremner
Gregory Havret
Keith Horne
Jbe Kruger
Keenan Davidse
Jaco Van Zyl 10 13
Ruan Korb
Haydn Porteous 12
David Dixon
Deon Germishuys
Toby Tree
Peter Karmis
Benjamin Poke
Jean-Paul Strydom
Jean Hugo
Matias Calderon
Luke Jerling
Jake Roos
Anton Haig
MJ Daffue
Toto Thimba
Jaco Prinsloo
Jayden Trey Schaper
Gonzalo F`dez-Castano 11
Oliver Bekker
Trevor Fisher
Hennie Otto
David Boote
Anthony Michael
David Law
Ryan Lumsden
Jack Harrison
Carlos Pigem
Ruan Conradie
Michael G Palmer
Daniel Greene
Stephen Ferreira
James Hart Du Preez
Alex Haindl
Jake Redman
Robbie Van West
Ruan De Smidt
Estiaan Conradie
Benjamin Follett-Smith
Mitch Waite
Marcel Siem 39 4
Christiaan Basson
Aron Zemmer
JJ Senekal
Callum Mowat
Andre Nel
Richard McEvoy 60
Pedro Figueiredo
David Howell
Dylan Naidoo
CJ Du Plessis
Yurav Premlall
Casey Jarvis
Jesper Sandborg
Stanislav Matus
James Kingston
Rourke Van der Spuy
James Kamte
Christo Lamprecht
Kyle De Beer
Samuel Simpson
Adriel Poonan
Austin Bautista
David Ravetto
______________________________________________________
The following were played
at Sun City on Southern Africa's
Sunshine Tour:
_________
Player 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 25
Garrick Higgo 1
Shaun Norris 2
Daniel Van Tonder 1 4
JC Ritchie 5 4 7
Jaco Ahlers 20 6 21
Louis De Jager 25 2 20 5
Thriston Lawrence 17
Adilson Da Silva 4 4
Bryce Easton 13
MJ Viljoen 3 25
Neil Schietekat 2 6 1 16
Jacques Blaauw 6 17
Jacques Kruyswijk 11 9
Ockie Strydom 21 2 5 3
Merrick Bremner 14 9
Keith Horne 12 6 12 4
Jbe Kruger 20 3 8 5
Keenan Davidse 7 11
Jaco Van Zyl 14 3
Ruan Korb 21
Haydn Porteous 11
Deon Germishuys 14
Peter Karmis 8 1
Jean-Paul Strydom 16
Jean Hugo 3
Jake Roos 11 20 2 13
Anton Haig 8 10
Jaco Prinsloo 12 11
Oliver Bekker 8 1
Hennie Otto 21
Anthony Michael 24 20
Michael G Palmer 13 20
Stephen Ferreira 7
Alex Haindl 16
Jake Redman 21
Ruan De Smidt 25 23
Estiaan Conradie 19 10
Christiaan Basson 14 21 10 13
JJ Senekal 23
Callum Mowat 11
Dylan Naidoo 14
_________
Tournament Key:
Sun City Challenge (2016-19)
Investec Royal Swazi Open (2020)
_________
Note: Only T-25s listed
For Sun City Challenge and
Swazi Open which were
not European Tour events

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