Justin Rose remained on fire on the European Tour as he followed his win at the WGC-HSBC Championship with a one-stroke victory at the Turkish Airlines Open. He won’t be the field this week as the European Tour moves to South Africa for the Nedbank Golf Challenge, which was first played in 1981 as a small-field invitational event, but became a European Tour event in 2013. This is the final event before the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Event: Nedbank Golf Challenge
Category: European Tour
Date: November 9th – 12th
Location: Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa
Alex Noren stormed to his third win of 2016 last season with a six-stroke win over Jeunghun Wang. Alejandro Canizares, Victor Dubuisson, Ricardo Gouveia, Branden Grace and Andy Sullivan all finished seven shots back of Noren, who shot a final-round 63 to pick up the win at Gary Player Country Club.
Past Five Winners
2016: Alexander Noren -16
2015: Marc Leishman -19
2014: Danny Willett -18
2013: Thomas Bjorn -20
2012: Martin Kaymer -8
We’ll see a pretty strong field this week with 72 players in action. Of course, with the event happening in South Africa and Gary Player hosting, there will be plenty in the field (nine). Four of them are major winners (Padraig Harrington, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.
One key absence from the field will be Henrik Stenson. He suffered a freak injury and not only pulled out from this event, but the rest of the European Tour season.
Alex Noren will be looking to defend his title here, even though he’s not the favorite. That goes to Tyrell Hatton. Tommy Fleetwood, who has the same odds as Noren, can move a step closer to securing the Race to Dubai title with a good showing this week.
What To Know About The Course
Gary Player Country Club is, of course, a design by Gary Player, one of the greatest players of all time. He has designed a monster of a golf course that is a par-72 that stretched out to 7,831 yards, which is where golf courses might need to go to challenge these long-hitting players. The shortest hold is the par-3 16th at 211 yards, and the final three holes all ranked in the top seven in terms of difficulty last year. Players need to pick up strokes over the first four holes, in which three are relatively easy, and a three-hole stretch that has two par-5s from holes 9 to 11. This course is one of the toughest in the entire world and it is definitely a place where the players have to think to get around because if you get in trouble, especially off the tee, you’re going to card a lot of bogeys.
A Good Matchup To Bet: Brendan Grace over Ross Fisher
Grace hails from South Africa and has finished in the top 20 in three of his last four starts in this event, while Fisher finished solid second here in 2015. Gracehas finished T-15 in each of his last two starts, including at the WGC-HSBC Championship, where Fisher finished T-58, but he had a solo second and a T-2 in his previous two starts prior to that. Grace gets the edge because of the hometown knowledge and the gallery will likely be on his side as well.
Top-Five Pick: Tyrrell Hatton
Hatton finished T-25 here last year, but he has been red-hot lately and should be a top-five pick until he slows down. He has two wins in his last six starts and hasn’t finished worse than T-16, which came last week in Turkey, but he’ll get another chance this week. Hatton is a very streaky golfer and when he is on, he is on.
Odds To Win 2017 Nedbank Golf Challenge
Tyrell Hatton +1250
Louis Oosthuizen +1550
Branden Grace +1550
Ross Fisher +1550
Matthew Fitzpatrick +1615
Francesco Molinari +1650
Rafa Cabrera Bello +2050
Alex Noren +2050
Shane Lowry +2050
Charl Schwartzel +2250
Tommy Fleetwood +2050
Joost Luiten +2250
Peter Uihlein +2550
Kiradech Aphibarnrat +2550
Thorbjorn Olesen +2850
Bernd Wiesberger +3050
George Coetzee +3050
Ian Poulter +3250
Eddie Pepperell +3250
Chris Wood +3550
Nicolas Colsaerts +3550
Lee Westwood +4050
Victor Dubuisson +4050
Paul Dunne +4550
Alexander Levy +5050
Julian Suri +4550
Soren Kjeldsen +5050
Martin Kaymer +5500
Dylan Frittelli +5500
David Horsey +6550
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