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David Thompson 11th Jan 2012 - 13:51

This week's golf betting preview


Joburg Open

12 Jan - 15 Jan

Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course

Suspends 04:30 - live on Sky Sports 1 from 08:00

The European Tour remains in South Africa this week on the second leg of three events to be staged in the country. Louis Oosthuizen got off to a winning start in 2012 taking the inaugural event in East London by holding off the challenge of compatriots Retief Goosen and Van Der Walt. These tournaments are an excellent opportunity for the home nation players to get ahead in the Race To Dubai standings and with the 2010 Open Champion not competing at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club this week, the mantle will be passed to his close friend and Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel.

Schwartzel had a fantastic year in 2011 and it all started with victory in this event at the Joburg Open. From that victory he gained the confidence to go on a win the first Major of the year and the first of his career so expect the 27-year-old to go well this week. He is the stand out name in the field and is as short as 3/1 to win the tournament outright.

Three players that will also fancy their chances in Johannesburg will be Retief Goosen 10/1, Thomas Aiken 14/1 and Jaco Van Zyl 16/1. All three played in the Africa Open last week with Goosen and Van Zyl finishing 3rd and 4th, whilst Aiken began well only to tail off in the finally two days to eventually finish tied 14th. With €1,300,000 up for grabs and a real chance for the South Africans to excel, if Schwartzel doesn't hit a low score in the region of his tournament record of 23-under-par in 2010, then expect one of the these three to take the title.

If any player from overseas is to get in the picture then Danny Willett produce three days of superb golf last week only to be let down by his final round in East London. He can be backed at 25/1 and is 19/10 to place in the top 10. The long shot would be Argentine Ariel Canete at 125/1. He won this event in 2009 with a total score of 19-under-par. He shot 11-under last week with some consistent scores, but he has course knowledge and the 11/1 on a top 10 finish looks tempting.

Sony Open

12 Jan - 15 Jan

Waialae CC, Honolulu, Hawaii

Suspends Thursday 17:00 - live on Sky Sports 2 from 00:00

It's a tough start on the PGA Tour, many of the world's top golfers face the hardship of having to play their first three events in the tropical Island of Hawaii. If last week in Maui is anything to go by then by the looks of things not much has changed since 2011. Steve Stricker took the title in the inaugural event of the year and he was push all the way by last season's most consistent player Webb Simpson. Much like in the European Tour many of the big names will be missing from the first Tournaments in January and the likes of Stricker and Simpson will see it as an opportunity to grab an early victory and build their prize money up for a shot at 2012's Money List race.

Steve Stricker, thanks to his victory at the Plantation Course, has moved up one spot to number five in World Golf and his odds at 7/1 for the tournament outright reflect that fact. Personally I feel the 10/1 available on compatriot Webb Simpson offers the punter greater value. Stricker's victory was courtesy of a second round 63 and without that Simpson could have snatched the title. His intentions have been made clear, he narrowly missed out claiming top-spot on the Money List in 2011 to World number one Luke Donald. He will have to play in a huge amount of tournaments this year and will have to go some if he is to reach the target he set for himself last year.  He is fifth favourite at 12/1 to win the Money List in 2012 and if this is not the tournament for you make sure that you grab some of that early season value.

Another to mention who could go close this week would be KJ Choi. The South Korean played well to finish tied 5th last week and having won in 2008 in Waialae he joined a select few non-Americans to win this event in Hawaii. He can be backed at odds of 14/1

In the absence of some of the bigger stars of the PGA Tour expect the higher ranked players to do well here. If it's an outsider you're after then Paul Goydos at 125/1 stands out.



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