BETTING: Burmester has the long game for SA Open

Nov 30, 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 Mike Green (former Sunshine Tour communications manager).


It’s hard to look past the length of Blair Atholl Golf & Equestrian Estate as a defining factor in choosing who to back in the Investec South African Open Championship this week.

Designed by Gary Player on the farmland where he grew up, Blair Atholl is an exclusive club which will tell anyone who’ll listen that the course is the ‘third-longest in the world’. Wide fairways and huge greens add to a bigger-is-better mantra and at over 7,500 metres in length, everything is big.

It can be the case that very long courses actually level the playing field, because everyone is hitting wedges into par-fives. However, the altitude and the heat which is forecast this week might just mean that the big hitters can really hammer home their advantage.

To the naked eye – meaning, to hell with the statistics – and when it needs to be done under pressure, Dean Burmester is an obvious choice if you’re backing someone to take advantage off the tee. What’s good about Burmy is that he’s also a good bet to hit enough greens in regulation. In fact, his stats from his fledgling PGA Tour career tell us he’s getting better, pushing that figure up to 72 percent from his 67 percent last season on the DP World Tour. He’ll hit more fairways at Blair Atholl than his normal 50-60 percent range, so if his putter comes to the party to the tune of 1.7 putts per green in regulation or less, he could be awfully difficult to stop.

There is someone who has the experience to do just that, as well as a burning desire to add his national open championship title to a lustrous career: Charl Schwartzel is both a member at Blair Atholl as well as having lived there, so he has plenty of relaxed rounds there to look back on. Rumour has it he’s been round there a few times in 60. He’s made no secret of how badly he wants to lift the historic trophy, and, with his future now with LIV Golf, he will have been preparing carefully to take this shot at finally winning the SA Open at the age of 38.

There are five South Africans in the field who have each won the title, and at least one of them was in the mix for the Joburg Open title last week. Daniel van Tonder is also the defending champion – from another long course, the Gary Player Country Club – and his performance at Houghton last week, where he shared third, signalled a timeous return to form. At over 305 yards for the DP World Tour season off the tee in 2022, he was not too short, and he hits close to 80 percent of greens in regulation. Coupled with confidence from his showing last week, those are compelling figures.

And if you’re looking for some attractive odds on someone who showed some late form last week, look no further than the 2016 SA Open champion Brandon Stone. He closed with a 65 at Houghton, and, if that signalled a return of his short game which has been problematic for a long time now, then he’s worth a flutter.

My three picks for the week:

Dean Burmester (12/1 to win; 3.75/1 for top five)

Charl Schwartzel (21/1 to win; 6/1 for top five)

Daniel van Tonder (34/1 to win; 7.5/1 for top five)

Fancy a flutter:

Brandon Stone (91/1 to win; 17/1 for top five)

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