THE OVERVIEW

Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa - The Gary Player Country Club, in Sun City, South Africa, will be playing as  a 7,831-yard par-72. this week. It is a parkland course built in an extinct volcano crater that can be set up to play extremely long, but the altitude will make the yardage play about 10% shorter. The fairways and rough consist of kikuyu and the greens are bentgrass usually running around an 11 on the stimpmeter.

Given that this event has been played here (in some variation or another) for over 35 years, there's a ton of course history to look at. When selecting players I am leaning towards favoring South African pros and although above-average Driving Distance isn't really a necessary stat to finish well here this week, it is one that I have gone with on a couple of my picks. Other numbers to consider are GIR Percentage and Par-5 Scoring.

 

PAST WINNERS

2017  - 11   Branden Grace   (Runner Up:   -10   Scott Jamieson)

2016  - 14  Alexander Noren    (Runners Up:  - 8   Wang Jeung-hun)

2015  - 19  Marc Leishman   (Runner Up:  - 13   Henrik Stenson)

2014  - 18  Danny Willet   (Runner Up:  - 14  Ross Fisher)

2013  - 20  Thomas Bjorn   (Runner Up:  - 18  Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia)

 

BETTING ODDS   (Bovada 11/05/2018)

Rory McIlroy  +700

Sergio Garcia  +950

Hao Tong Li  +1400

Louis Oosthuizen  +1400

Branden Grace  +1800

Shane Lowry  +2000

Lucas Bjerregaard  +2200

Matthew Fitzpatrick  +2200

Andy Sullivan  +2800

Kiradech Aphibarnrat  +2800

Charl Schwartzel  +3300

Danny Willett  +3300

Joost Luiten  +3300

Lee Westwood  +3300

Tom Lewis  +3300

Alexander Levy  +4000

Julian Suri  +4000

Martin Kaymer  +4000

Alexander Bjork  +4500

Lucas Herbert  +4500

Matt Wallace  +4500

Ryan Fox  +4500

Andrea Pavan  +5000

Chris Wood  +5000

Dylan Frittelli  +5000

Erik Van Rooyen  +5000

Jordan Smith  +5000

Sam Horsfield  +5000

Padraig Harrington  +5500

Ross Fisher  +5500

Marcus Kinhult  +6600

Mikko Korhonen  +6600

Thomas Detry  +6600

 

HOT PLAYERS

Hao Tong Li

Sergio Garcia

Tommy Fleetwood

Lucas Bjerregaard

Andrea Pavan

 

HORSES FOR THE COURSE

Branden Grace

Hao Tong Li

Martin Kaymer

Danny Willett

Louis Oosthuizen

 

LONGER SHOTS

Jorge Campillo  +7500

Nicolas Colsaerts  +7500

Paul Dunne  +7500

Adrian Otaegui  +8000

Matthias Schwab  +8000

Andrew Johnston  +9000

Brandon Stone  +9000

Robert Rock  +9000

Thomas Aiken  +9000

Ashley Chesters  +10000

Chris Paisley  +10000

Darren Fichardt  +10000

George Coetzee  +10000

Jason Scrivener  +10000

Matthew Southgate  +10000

Nacho Elvira  +10000

Ashun Wu  +12500

Benjamin Hebert  +12500

Gavin Green  +12500

Hideto Tanihara  +12500

Maximilian Kieffer  +12500

Mike Lorenzo-Vera  +12500

Oliver Fisher  +12500

Shubhankar Sharma  +12500

 

FAITHFULS

Sergio Garcia

Louis Oosthuizen

Branden Grace

Andy Sullivan

Charl Schwartzel

 

GOLF PICKS

THE 'FORE' SOME

'FORE' SOMES are chosen by selecting one player from a "low tier" betting pool (30:1 or better), two players from a "mid tier" (30:1 - 75:1), and a final player from a "high tier" (75:1 & up).  

KEITH'S 'FORE' SOME 

Louis Oosthuizen  (14:1).  Louis jumped off to a great start to the 2019 season with a T5 at the CIMB. And he followed that up with a T29 at the CJ Cup. There was a story about Louis having new prototype irons that he really liked. There’s some evidence to back this as he has his 84% of GIR in his last 8 rounds.

Louis Oosthuizen also knows the Gary Player track well. His finishes here going back to 2013 are T14, T7, T11, 9th, and T8. This looks like a good chance for a big win for the 36 year old South African.

Lucas Herbert  (45:1)  &  Erik Van Rooyen  (50:1).  I am all in on Lucas Herbert. He has been in too good of form to give up on so easily. I’ll admit I have been playing him pretty hard, but it’s only because I believe in him so much. After his T3 at the British Masters I said on this podcast that I didn’t know his schedule, but that I was looking down the tourney list to identify where he could really pop. The first thought I had was Nedbank. So, I am on the super young Aussie one last time before I probably give it a rest for bit.

Likewise, Erik Van Rooyen was a favorite of mine early last season. He was the big bombing South African darling fresh off the Challenge Tour and making all kinds of noise. Since then he has raked in over 500,000 Euros in tourney earnings and netted that super strong T4 at the Irish Open. His driving can be erratic and his putting is touch and go, too, but Van Rooyen has game. And it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to pop with home field advantage.

Brandon Stone  (90:1).  This is perhaps an ill-advised selection. I was also looking at Chris Paisley and Gavin Green for this spot, but I ultimately fell on another young South African. After I had made the pick, I read Ben Coley’s article where he says that Stone has horrible history at this track. And while I am one of those staunch believers in course history, I am also a staunch believer in Brandon Stone. At 90:1, I’ll gamble on the 25 year old who won the Scottish Open just last July.

 

Listen to this week’s podcast to hear the team’s thoughts on the event and tweet us @fantasygolfww or #fgww.

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