BETTING: Bezuidenhout tops our Joburg Open tips

Nov 23, 2022 | Betting, Featured

For our now regular betting angle for punters here at SA Tour Golf, we bring you tips for the Joburg Open from Gary Lemke (three-time SA Sports Writer of the Year and golf magazine editor) and Mike Green (former Sunshine Tour communications manager).


There’s an expected heavy South African influence in this week’s Joburg Open, held at Houghton Golf Club where Nelson Mandela was often seen, having lived nearby. The course itself demands straight hitting, as wayward drives are sure to find trouble among the trees.

The flip side is the Bryson DeChambeau approach. Bomb your drives so even when you find trouble, you’re not far from the green, so it makes the approach shot manageable. I’m not saying that’s a wise approach here, but it is worth considering when you’re looking for an outsider.

How Wilco Nienaber has slipped to 371st in the world is beyond me, given that he has all the attributes to be a star. One thing is certain, he will absolutely smash it off the tees and with the ball travelling further at altitude we’re going to be in for a lot of fun. He is 40/1 to win and 8/1 to finish in the top five.

Despite missing four of his last six cuts, his sheer distance off the tees makes him an outsider impossible to ignore.

If you’re looking for steady then Christiaan Bezuidenhout is your man. He’s also the highest-ranked player in the field and therefore is the obvious favourite (7/1 to win and 14/10 for a top five). He’s not entered for next week’s Investec SA open which is a surprise, so perhaps he will sign off his season here on a high.

Houghton always demands straight driving and steady putting. For these two reasons I’m matching my bet of Bezuidenhout with Shaun Norris and Daniel van Tonder. Norris, with his long flatstick, is a very good putter, while Van Tonder always puts the ball where the mower goes when he’s standing on the tee.

My three picks for the week:

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (7/1 to win, 14/10 for top five)

Daniel van Tonder (45/1 to win, 9/1 for top five)

Shaun Norris (80/1 to win, 16/1 for top five)

Watch (even if it’s just for fun)

Wilco Nienaber (40/1 to win, 8/1 for top five)


Last time Hennie du Plessis played the Joburg Open, in November last year, he finished seventh in the tournament that was curtailed to 36 holes by rain. While that’s not necessarily an indication of how he’ll do this time round, he remains someone who can produce the kind of golf that can win just about any tournament anywhere.

That seventh place was the first of six top 10s on the DP World Tour last season, the most recent of which was in October in the Open de España. Add to that the fact that he very nearly won the first LIV Golf tournament in England. In fact, he won over $4.5-million on that circuit in a life-changing time for him during which he played very good golf.

His driving is long, accurate enough, and he finds greens in regulation frequently enough to give his very good putting a chance to make him lots of birdies.

He’s due for the kind of breakthrough win we often see South Africans making in this tournament.

Former South African amateur number one Martin Vorster has begun to find his feet in the professional ranks. He has had three top-10 finishes in his last five starts on the Sunshine Tour, and he’s been touted as the future of South African golf by no less a luminary than Louis Oosthuizen. At long odds, he’s an attractive bet.

Elsewhere, it’s tough to overlook the steadiness – in fact, the sheer relentlessly solid play – that Christiaan Bezuidenhout produces. He’s no longer a member of the DP World Tour, having relocated his game to the PGA Tour in the United States. He’ll find Houghton a lot like many of the courses he now plays in America. Being home again will give him a real sense of familiarity, and he could end up adding the Joburg Open title to his impressive victories in the SA Open and Alfred Dunhill Championship in successive weeks two years ago.

Jaco Prinsloo will be smarting at missing out on winning his DP World Tour card for the 2023 season at the Q-School Final Stage just a week ago in Spain, so he will be eager to grab his chance in this first event of the new season on home soil. He’s had eight top-10 finishes on the Sunshine Tour this season, including a win in eSwatini in July. He shared second in his last outing in the SunBet Challenge-Sun Sibaya in October, and returning to Highveld conditions close to his Centurion home will suit him right down to the ground.

My three picks for the week:

Hennie du Plessis (20/1 to win, 4/1 for top five)

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (7/1 to win, 14/10 for top five)

Jaco Prinsloo (80/1 to win, 16/1 for top 5)

Looking for a real outsider?

Martin Vorster (125/1 to win, 25/1 for top five)

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