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

This week's South African Open takes place at Sun City
At 7,800 yards, the Gary Player-designed Sun City course is a monster of a layout

The Gary Player-designed Sun City layout stages the South African Open for the second time. Check out the form stats supplied by Andy Swales...

"Higgo, who ended the 2021 European Tour season 10th in the Driving Distance stats, will certainly fancy his chances at this week's venue. He’s a former champion here, having won the Sun City Challenge in 2019, which was his maiden victory on the Sunshine Tour."

Following the outbreak of the latest Covid variant, called Omicron, leading to travel restrictions regarding South Africa, this week's South African Open will no longer be part of the European Tour.

The tournament, however, still goes ahead as a Sunshine Tour event, with a field predominantly made up of players from Southern Africa countries.

That said, a handful of overseas pros remain on the African continent to contest one of the oldest national opens in world golf.

What should have been the second of three European Tour events in South Africa, will now be the concluding competition on the 2021 Sunshine Tour calendar.

The Alfred Dunhill Championship, which had been scheduled to take place next week at Leopard Creek, has been scrapped.

What hasn't changed is that the tournament will still take place in Sun City at Gary Player Country Club, one of the most iconic and respected venues in golf.

Opened in 1979, the course made its name as host of the lucrative Nedbank Challenge.

Designed by Gary Player, the course is almost eight thousand yards in length, and was built inside an extinct volcanic crater.

In December 2020, Sun City hosted the South African Open for the first time, and it returns to the schedule 12 months later to do it all over again.

On the tee

The two biggest names taking part are Garrick Higgo and defending champion Christiaan Bezuidenhout, both of whom must stand a serious chance of winning this week.

Higgo, who ended the 2021 European Tour season 10th in the Driving Distance stats, will certainly fancy his chances at this week's venue.

He's a former champion here, having won the Sun City Challenge in 2019, which was his maiden victory on the Sunshine Tour.

The Punter's De-Brief from Joburg Open

Elsewhere, Jaco Ahlers has posted a brace of podium finishes at this venue this year, while Neil Schietekat is another home golfer with good memories of Sun City.

Normally, neither player would be considered a major challenger in this event, but with a field depleted because of Omicron, and a handful of leading South Africans not playing, their chances have greatly improved.

One of the few overseas players remaining in the country is Johannes Veerman who tied-12th at last week's shortened and calamitous Joburg Open.

Course details

The course is located in the north-west of the country, around 100 miles from Pretoria, and 125 from Johannesburg, where last week's truncated 36-hole tournament was played.

It is also approximately 125 miles from the country's border with Botswana.

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

At over 7,800 yards in length, it is a monster of a layout that demands accurate ball-striking, as well as power and accuracy.

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 the par-threes 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 quick putting surfaces which are well protected by sand. Water comes into play on just three holes.

In addition to staging the Nedbank Challenge for 39 consecutive years from 1981, Sun City has also been the venue for a number of other events on South Africa's Sunshine Tour.

During 2021, the course hosted the SunBet Challenge, in early June, and more recently the Blue Label Challenge.

Twitter: Andy Swales@GolfStatsAlive

Form Guide Table For Top-25 Finishes at Sun City


`21 (2) Blue Label Challenge (S);
`21 (1) SunBet Challenge (S);
`20 (2) South Africa Open (E/S);
`20 (1) Swazi Open (S);
`19 (2) Nedbank Challenge (E/S);
`19 (1) Sun City Challenge (S);
`18 (2) Nedbank Challenge (E/S);
`18 (1) Sun City Challenge (S);
`17 (2) Nedbank Challenge (E/S);
`17 (1) Sun City Challenge (S)
(S) - Sunshine Tour
(E/S) - Co-sanctioned with European Tour

LAST 10 WEEKS
This table lists all SOUTHERN AFRICA golfers to have competed on the world's major tours during the last 10 weeks, plus overseas pros competing at Sun City.

SUN CITY FORM T-25s (Last 10)
This table lists TOP-25 FINISHES ONLY from recent tournaments staged at Sun City, on either the Sunshine Tour or European Tour.

Please note, not all listed golfers in either table are competing in the South African Open.

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Last 10 Weeks / Sun City T-25s (Last 10)

Position

  • 1–5
  • 6–15
  • 16–25
Player W48 W47 W46 W45 W44 W43 W42 W41 W40 W39
Louis Oosthuizen Wd 38 14
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 32 MC 15 57
Garrick Higgo 21 64 34 75 MC
Erik van Rooyen 54 48 25 MC
Branden Grace MC MC 7 68 27
Dean Burmester 43 6 44 1 7
Shaun Norris 3 15 25 16 39 1 5 37 8
Charl Schwartzel 45 77 MC
Dylan Frittelli 12 MC 19 MC 22 MC 39
Scott Vincent MC 25 MC 7 5 66 15 7 5 14
Johannes Veerman 12 21 MC MC
Justin Harding 23 50 55 53 MC 54
Daniel van Tonder MC 19 MC MC MC
Brandon Stone 43 MC
George Coetzee MC 59 46 24 MC
Wilco Nienaber 43 8 MC 49 6 36
Jacques Kruyswijk 32 MC 16 MC 34
Thriston Lawrence 1 6 MC MC
Neil Schietekat MC 5 2 26 MC
Oliver Bekker 43 7 20 MC
Darren Fichardt MC 59 38 71 MC
Jaco Ahlers 43 5 19 3 MC
Jaco Prinsloo 12 MC
Chase Hanna 12 24 8 MC
JC Ritchie 8 6 MC 61 39
Espen Kofstad 57 18 8 MC 30
Hennie Du Plessis 7 18 5 39 15
Darius Van Driel 57 MC 68
Jayden Trey Schaper MC 5 12 9 9
Luke Brown 12 MC 1 20 MC
Justin Walters MC MC 26 MC 56 MC
Louis Albertse MC MC 4 12 25
Zander Lombard 2 24 MC 26 MC 56 MC
MJ Viljoen 12 MC 25
Louis de Jager 32 3 26 MC 44
Dawie van der Walt MC MC MC MC
Tristen Strydom 19 MC MC 2
Lyle Rowe 43 MC MC 1 43
Jacques Blaauw 23 36 MC 10 25 MC
Ian Snyman 21
Pieter Moolman MC 2 26 17 30
Jbe' Kruger 32 32 56 19 51 40 MC
David Drysdale 23 MC MC Wd 41 34 59
Daan Huizing 57 26 40 MC 15 23
Alex Haindl 57 32 20 MC
Bryce Easton 23 7 39 23
Rhys Enoch MC 61 12 39
Martin Rohwer MC 25 MC
Anton Haig 10 4 MC MC
Ruan Korb MC MC MC 3 6
Ockie Strydom 12 19 21 5 19
Steve Surry Wd 4 MC MC 3
Adilsonda Silva MC 38 MC 19 MC
Dylan Mostert MC 19 2 MC
Keenan Davidse 57 13 26 6 MC
Keagan Thomas MC 3 Wd MC
Malcolm Mitchell MC 24 55 9 3
Trevor Fisher-Jr MC 7 11 9
Michael Palmer MC MC 10 24 6
Ryan Van Velzen
Jaco Van Zyl 23 24 MC 20 MC
Anthony Michael MC 12 20 MC
Ulrich Van Den Berg Wd 34 15 15
Deon Germishuys MC MC 21 8 30
Lars Van Meijel 57 MC 54
Hennie Otto MC 30 52 30 9
Riekus Nortje MC 7 MC 25
Jake Roos 57
Jean-Paul Strydom Wd 13 21 7 MC
Luke Jerling MC 19 15 MC 13
Daniel Greene MC 44 52 MC 1
Richard Sterne MC
Keith Horne 8 24 MC
Christiaan Burke 15
Albert Venter 13 MC 35 MC
Estiaan Conradie 43 MC 15 MC
Jean Hugo 57 MC 49 30 13
Heinrich Bruiners 8 34 21 39 18
Jake Redman MC 44 MC MC 36
Rupert Kaminski 57 8 10 30
MJ Daffue 64 27
Haydn Porteous MC 64 MC MC MC MC MC
CJ du Plessis 57 27 39 MC 6
Peter Karmis MC 30 39 19
James Kamte Wd 17 MC 38 36
Kyle Barker 10 26 MC MC
Madalitso Muthiya 23 27 30 28 36
Hayden Griffiths 10 52 MC
Jason Smith MC MC MC 39 43
Merrick Bremner 43 MC 47 MC MC
Chris Cannon MC 17 39
Paul Boshoff MC MC MC MC
Christiaan Basson MC 38 MC 39 3
Michael Hollick 19 MC MC 25
Stephen Ferreira 32 MC MC 17 MC
Jared Harvey 30 9 MC MC
Ruan Conradie 43 32 MC 37 MC
James Du Preez Jnr MC MC
Desne van den Bergh MC MC MC MC
Thomas Aiken MC 71 56 24
Robbie Lupini 26 44 MC
Christiaan Maas 12
Toto Thimba Jnr 43 MC MC 12 MC
Luca Filippi 57 13 39 30 9
Franklin Manchest
Thanda Mavundla MC
Wynand Dingle 36 45 26 MC
Makgetha Mazibuko 46 45 22
Quintin Wilsnach MC MC MC
Richard Joubert 40 57 45 25
Benjamin Follett-Smith MC MC MC MC
Cameron Moralee 35 MC
Dylan Naidoo MC
Hennie O'Kennedy MC 27 MC 30 16
Marthin Scheepers MC MC MC
Andre Nel MC MC 49 MC
Juran Dreyer MC MC MC
Mark Williams MC MC
Clinton Grobler 42 MC 42
Allister de Kock MC MC MC 35
Ruan de Smidt Wd MC MC MC 36
Matthew Spacey 36 35 49 MC
Thabiso Ngcobo MC MC
Philip Geerts 41 39 MC
Andre De Decker MC 35 30
Gideon Van der Vyver MC MC MC
Coert Groenewald MC MC MC
JJ Senekal MC MC 47
Mathiam Keyser MC
Adriel Poonan MC MC
Alpheus Kelapile MC MC MC
Andrew Curlewis MC MC 16
Andrew Williamson MC MC 45 MC
Arno Van Heerden
Aubrey Beckley MC 35 MC
Basil Wright MC
Bradford Vaughan MC
Brendon de Jonge Wd
Callum Mowat MC MC Wd 47 MC
Calvin Caldeira MC
Chris Swanepoel MC MC MC
Clayton Mansfield MC MC
Colin Nel MC
Combrinck Smit MC MC 22
David McIntyre
Derick Petersen MC MC MC MC
Divan Van Den Heever 30
Doug McGuigan 19 MC MC 22
Dwayne Basson MC 39 MC
Dylan O�Leary MC
Evance Vukeya MC
Fezekile Kana MC
Gregory Jacobs MC
Gregory Upton MC
Henk Alberts MC
Jack Duthie MC MC 30
Jacques de Villiers 32 MC MC MC
Jacquin Hess MC MC 56 MC 36
James Kingston MC
Jason Diab MC
Jason Roets MC 47 MC
Jeremy Sharpe MC
Jovan Rebula MC
Leon Visser MC MC MC
Lindani Ndwandwe MC
Lwazi Gqira MC
Martin Vorster MC
Maurice Prinsloo MC MC
Musiwalo Nethunzwi MC MC MC
Nikhil Rama MC MC MC 24 MC
Paul Marks MC
Peetie Van der Merwe MC MC
PH McIntyre MC MC 36
Regan Steyn MC
Richard O`Donovan MC 30 MC
Rourke Van der Spuy MC 39 39
Rudy Whitfield MC
Ryan Tipping MC
Shalan Govender MC MC
Siyanda Mwandla MC MC MC MC MC
SP Mthethwa
Stefan Wears Taylor MC 49 MC MC
Teaghan Gauche MC 30 45
Thabang Simon MC MC
Thato Irvin Mazibuko MC MC
Thinus Keller MC
Tumelo Molloyi Wd MC
Tyran van Lieshout MC
Wallie Coetsee MC MC
Yubin Jung MC MC MC
Name `21 (2) `21 (1) `20 (2) `20 (1) `19 (2) `19 (1) `18 (2) `18 (2) `17 (2) `17 (1)
Louis Oosthuizen 6 3 8
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 1 24 25
Garrick Higgo 1
Erik van Rooyen
Branden Grace 11 1
Dean Burmester 4 11
Shaun Norris
Charl Schwartzel 12
Dylan Frittelli 3 21
Scott Vincent 6
Justin Harding 6 8
Daniel van Tonder 1
George Coetzee
Wilco Nienaber 11
Jacques Kruyswijk 25 11
Thriston Lawrence 6 17
Neil Schietekat 16 2 6 1 16
Oliver Bekker 20 8
Darren Fichardt 11 9 6
Jaco Ahlers 3 2 20 6 21
Jaco Prinsloo 11 12 11
JC Ritchie 5 5 4
Hennie Du Plessis 6
Jayden Trey Schaper 9
Luke Brown 20
Justin Walters 20
Louis Albertse 12
Zander Lombard 8
MJ Viljoen 3 25
Louis de Jager 14 25 2 20
Dawie van der Walt
Lyle Rowe Won
Jacques Blaauw 6 17
Pieter Moolman 17
Jbe' Kruger 18 20 3 8
Alex Haindl 20 1 16
Bryce Easton
Rhys Enoch 12
Anton Haig 20 8 10
Ruan Korb 3 25 21
Ockie Strydom 5 8 21 2 5
Steve Surry 20
Adilsonda Silva 19 4 4
Dylan Mostert 2
Keenan Davidse 6 6 7 11
Keagan Thomas 5
Malcolm Mitchell 9 11 23
Trevor Fisher-Jr 11
Michael Palmer 24 11 13 20
Jaco Van Zyl 20 11 14 3
Anthony Michael 20 20 24 20
Ulrich Van Den Berg 15 4 25 4 23
Deon Germishuys 8 16 14
Hennie Otto 21
Riekus Nortje 7 4
Jake Roos 11 20 2
Jean-Paul Strydom 7 20 16
Luke Jerling 8
Daniel Greene 20
Richard Sterne 25 21 19
Keith Horne 16 12 6 12 4
Estiaan Conradie 16 19 10
Jean Hugo 11 3
Heinrich Bruiners 12
Jake Redman 21
Haydn Porteous 12 11
CJ du Plessis 20
Peter Karmis 8 1
Kyle Barker 4
Madalitso Muthiya 2
Merrick Bremner 14 9
Christiaan Basson 8 14 21 10
Michael Hollick 20
Stephen Ferreira 17 7
Ruan Conradie 14
Desne van den Bergh 24
Thomas Aiken
Toto Thimba Jnr 12
Franklin Manchest 21
Wynand Dingle 20 23
Makgetha Mazibuko 20
Benjamin Follett-Smith 25
Cameron Moralee 14
Dylan Naidoo 14
Breyten Meyer 4
Andre Nel 24
Casey Jarvis 25
Mark Williams 12
Ruan de Smidt 25
Matthew Spacey 25
Philip Geerts 18
Rhys West 6
Titch Moore 17
JJ Senekal
Andrew Curlewis 18
Andrew Van der Knaap 25
Andrew Williamson 24
Bennie van der Merwe 25
Brendon de Jonge
Callum Mowat 11
Danie Van Niekerk 11
Desvonde Botes 21
Doug McGuigan
Jacques de Villiers 14 21
Jacquin Hess 11 12
Jade Buitendag 12
Jason Viljoen 25
Nikhil Rama 24
Ryan Cairns 6
Ryan Tipping 25
Tyrone Ferreira 16
Vaughn Groenewald 18
Wallie Coetsee 20

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