We end 2023 with three weeks of action in South Africa and Australia as the 2023/24 DP World Tour season begins.
The Joburg Open will be played for the second year running at Houghton Golf Club, Johannesburg as Dan Bradbury looks to defend his crown.
It’s a par 70, 7,227 yards in length and at altitude. Therefore, it will play shorter than its yardage.
It always seems sensible to consider South African golfers in their home country. But equally, Englishmen can also fare well in this part of the world.
It’s no surprise that five of the top six in the betting are South African, including the 11/1 favourite Dean Burmester.
He’s not been at at his best in recent times but has good home-country form so the bookmakers must think that’s a consideration.
Christian Bezuidenhout has not had a great year on the USPGA Tour, but this is much more his level.
He has recently become a father so nappy factor followers may wish to keep an eye on him, but 14/1 looks a bit short to me for a golfer out of form.
Suggested bet: Thriston Lawrence, 2.5 points each way at 18/1
Branden Grace has played solidly on the LIV Tour and if that form follows him, he may be able to show some class back in his homeland. 16/1 seems fair enough.
Thriston Lawrence has previous form at altitude and not just in South Africa. He played well last week so if he can continue on that track of form, he must be a contender.
Defending champion Dan Bradbury performed admirably last week in Dubai and is poised to give a strong challenge to retain his title, his first on tour. 20/1 is a good bet if he can maintain last week’s form.
South African Hennie Du Plessis is available at 22/1. He’s not a regular contender on tour but there’s always a chance of him playing better on a course he knows. 25/1 bar.
Suggested bet: Shaun Norris, 1 point each way at 80/1
Zander Lombard can go low when back on home turf. But he can also throw in a bad round and so 25/1 looks short before the tournament gets underway.
Spaniard Adrian Otaegui will want to seize the opportunity to find form in a weaker field.
Charl Schwarzel has had a poor year on the LIV Gold tour and although he’s a prolific winner in South Africa, his successes have not come on this course.
There’s a lot to like about Shaun Norris, a golfer who plies his trade on the Asian Tour but does like to return to South Africa. He could well outperform odds of 80/1.
The talented but inconsistent Sebastian Garcia looks like a massive price at 500/1. It is an outside bet but given the level of the field, he can’t be written off.
Suggested bet: Sebastian Garcia, 0.5 points each way at 500/1