With South Africans having such a tremendous record in majors, this is a fascinating and potentially tricky market. Read Steve's take on the eight South Africans in this year's US Open here...
"With nine top-tens, including two in the last three years, Ernie’s US Open record speaks for itself and at around 7.06/1, he looks a decent price."
Two-time US Open winner, Retief Goosen, is the notable absentee and only three of the eight have actually tasted major success - Ernie Els, himself a two-time US Open winner, as well a duel Open champion, Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Championship winner and Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 US Masters champ.
After a brilliant finish to 2012, and a lightning fast start to 2013, Charl Schwartzel went off the boil until he bounced back in Texas last month, where he finished third in the Byron Nelson Championship. He missed the cut at the Crowne Plaza the following week but his top-ten finish at the Memorial Tournament last time out was another eye-catching performance. He quite rightly heads this market but with just one US Open top-ten from six starts, and with some hot opposition, I fancy he's worth taking on.
The second favourite, Louis Oosthuizen, is difficult to assess. He's played in the US Open three times, sandwiching a tied ninth at rain-soaked Congressional with two missed cuts and the last time we saw him play he withdrew from the Byron Nelson after round three. His form before that was in-and-out and he looks worth opposing too.
The one I like here is US Open specialist, Ernie Els. With nine top-tens, including two in the last three years, Ernie's US Open record speaks for itself and at around 7.06/1, he looks a decent price, but he's far from the only threat to the market leaders...
Tim Clark is perfectly capable of plotting his way around Merion, young-guns Branden Grace and George Coetzee are immense talents and potential future major winners and Rory Sabbatini may have hit form at just the right time - he ranked first for greens hit and fourth for scrambling last week when he finished tied seventh at the St Jude Classic.
I would be surprised if Jaco Van Zyl makes his presence felt but I can easily see any of the others win this market so a lay of the front two and/or a small play on the Big Easy looks the way to go.
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