William Hill Online Help Centre Close Detach
  • Change view:

William Hill Online Sports Betting - Live Football, Horse Racing, Greyhounds, Sports & Games

Michael Taylor 9th Dec 2009 - 16:38

Back big prices in the European Tour season opener

It was just a few weeks ago that Lee Westwood held aloft the season ending Dubai World Championship and Race to Dubai trophies and yet, at Leopard Creek Golf Club in South Africa this Thursday, the European Tour gets going all over again.

As part of the Sunshine Tour, the Alfred Dunhill Championship in crocodile infested Mpumalanga is the first event up and, despite a heavy South African presence in the field, it's a tournament that has been kind to English players over recent years.

Anthony Wall, Justin Rose, Mark Foster and most recently John Bickerton have all stamped their mark on the European Tour early in the year and I fancy a couple more home nations players could be in the mix this time around.

My biggest fancy is last year's runner-up, 50/1 shot Robert Rock.

The Lichfield man's game was near perfect for the first three days in 2008 only for a patchy final round to cost him his first title on the European Tour and a larger part of the $1,000,000 tournament purse.

So close but yet so far did slightly feel like the theme of Rock's year though, as he made his presence in the Race to Dubai felt with two further second place finishes but never went that one step further.

Perhaps then, this can be the season where it all changes for the talented 32-year-old as he makes the huge step up from good pro to Tour event winner.

He has good length of the teas which is vital at Leopard Creek, especially on the two monstrous par fours that signal the end of the front nine, while his putter has been known to stay hot for sustained periods.

If he can just up his accuracy from his 2009 showing then he has to be in with a great shout of finally landing his self a well earned title.

Another home countries player that should draw interest is 2007 champion John Bickerton.

Bickerton defied the odds to land the title two years ago as he fended off a rampaging Ernie Els to win his third European Tour title and his first outside of Europe.

He didn't return to South Africa to defend his title last year but you can bet he'll be raring to go this time as he gets ready to tear Leopard Creek up once again.

He's sure to arrive with bags full on confidence, and why wouldn't you after pipping three time major winner Else in front of his patriotic following?

Fair enough he's coming off his worst year since graduating from the Challenger Tour back in 1998 but I'd be reluctant to brush him off as a has been before he attempts to play his way back into form on one of his favourite courses.

He is a long shot, but, as risky bets go, you could do a lot worse than back the former ALSTROM French Open winner at a massive 90/1 (1/4 odds first four).

Away from the Brits though the outstanding value bet has to be the 100/1 about Swedish star Pelle Edberg.

He may not be a household name, in fact he may not even be a well known name in his native country, but when it comes to the Dunhill Championship he's a different man.

Over the past three years Edberg has wowed the crowds with consistent scoring and some excellent shot-making while his name amongst the leaders almost seems to be expected nowadays.

His best performance may only be eighth in the 2007 renewal but he's also managed top 35 finishes in the sandwiching years and could be primed to go even better this time.

With course form in his favour you'll struggle to find a better 100/1 shot all year, never mind that it's the first tournament of the season.



View AllPlay Games


View AllMichael Taylor