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Rupert Wyman 11th Jan 2011 - 19:35

Journeymen golfers to make headway in South Africa

This is the last week that the European Tour is based in South Africa. The event is the Joburg Open and it is the richest of the four consecutive European Tour events that is contested in the country.

The defending champion is Charl Schwartzel (7/2), he was fantastic in this event last year and he won by six shots from Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke (16/1).

The Joburg Open is played on more than one course and the key skill required is to be a strong hitter.

The East Course is 7,590 yards long and it is one of the longest ever to feature on the European Tour. The players that can dominate at the event will be those with long drives.

Danny Willett (16/1) finished fourth in this event last year and since he has joined the Tour, his driving accuracy has improved year by year. From the tee, he was hitting about two hundred and ninety-eight yards last year.

He has not yet won on the European Tour but he has come close numerous times and he can get his maiden win in South Africa this week.  Last year he had three top-ten finishes (27/20) before the end of March and he excels on warm weather courses.

David Drysdale (50/1) did not make the cut at the Africa Open last week but he was inside the top-thirty players in his previous two events in South Africa. His driving accuracy is impressive and he hit sixty-six percent of the fairways on average last year. He was poor at the event last year, but he came third in 2009.

He is another player yet to win on the European Tour, but the journeyman golfer could be a strong each-way bet at 50/1.

The defending champion Charl Schwartzel(7/2) has finished in the top five in all three of his last Tour events. He was immense in the Joburg Open last year and he is comfortable playing both courses.  The South African started the event by shooting a superb sixty-three on the Thursday last year and his score was matched by Darren Clarke.

Darren Clarke was let down in the Africa Open by a poor second round last week but he has course form and he was immense at times last year and he looked like a player reborn. He has a proven record on the European Tour and it would not be a surprise to see him leave South Africa with another title.

My final tip is the little known Spaniard Manuel Quiros (125/1), not to be mistaken for his namesake Alvaro, he was second in the Africa Open last week and he has struggled to make ends meet on the Challenge Tour over the years. Last weekend was by far the biggest of his golfing career. He could be a massive each-way price if he can reproduce that form if he is not mentally fatigued after his heroics last week.



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