BETTING: Oosthuizen on a mission at Leopard Creek is our pick

Dec 7, 2022 | Betting, Featured

For our now regular betting angle for punters here at SA Tour Golf, we bring you tips for the Alfred Dunhill Championship from Mike Green (former Sunshine Tour communications manager).


While there is no logical reason why a player can’t win the Alfred Dunhill Championship a week after winning the Investec South African Open Championship – Christiaan Bezuidenhout did just that in 2020, but in reverse order – it just feels a little unlikely that Thriston Lawrence will do so.

A small matter of getting up again so soon after the emotionally draining back nine ahead of his roller-coaster ride to victory at Blair Atholl last week seems like a steep ask – but then again: He’s close to home, in familiar weather on a course he knows well… so…

On the other hand, Louis Oosthuizen has come second in the Alfred Dunhill Championship (and its precursor, the Dunhill Championship, twice, and this week, he brings a real need for a good performance with him. He’s slipped out of the top 50 on the Official World Golf Ranking, and, with no word on a resolution to the seemingly intractable problem of LIV Golf and ranking points, a man who is a perennial contender in major championship is, at the moment, likely to play only the Open Championship.

So, on bushveld territory he is clearly very fond of, Oosthuizen at his best with a real achievable goal in front of him – get inside the top 50 in the world again to sew up at least an invitation to the Masters – is quite a tasty prospect. And that’s despite the fact that he missed the cut in the tournament six times in a row from 2006. His more recent record at Leopard Creek is a little more encouraging: He finished seventh there in 2018 behind American David Lipsky, and he was rounding into some better form on the LIV Golf circuit.

Whatever you make of his LIV Golf performances, he has played two DP World Tour events since making the switch. He’s been eighth and 10th, both times in fields considerably stronger than this one, with Thomas Pieters among the stars in Germany and Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Shane Lowry and Tyrrell Hatton in Scotland, not to mention champion Ryan Fox.

For the reservations we have about Lawrence’s chances, we still think he has enough going for him to be one of our picks this week. All the local support he had last week will be there again this week – and then some, with his home club, Mbombela Golf Club, just down the road and supplying some of the marshals for the tournament. Relaxed now, he’ll be a formidable proposition if he gets a good start.

Jayden Schaper came second in this tournament to Bezuidenhout – it was only a 75 in the closing round that kept the then-rookie from pulling off an astounding win. He’s been outside the top 10 just three times in his Sunshine Tour season to date, with his most recent performance a share of ninth in the Investec South African Open Championship. With his studied approach, and a burning desire to rectify that final round from two years ago, he makes an attractive pick.

We don’t want to appear overly fanatical in our belief that South African golfers are the only ones to back in South African tournaments as big as this one, so we think you could do worse than having a flutter on Marcel Siem. He loves the place, and with a renewed passion for the simple pleasure of playing and playing well, he’s looked at home in his South African starts over the last two years.

My three picks for the week:

Louis Oosthuizen (11/1 to win; 2.88/1 for top five)

Thriston Lawrence (21/1 to win; 6/1 for top five)

Jayden Schaper (41/1 to win; 9/1 for top five)

Fancy a foreigner:

Marcel Siem (67/1 to win; 13/1 top five)

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