Randpark Golf Club (Firethorn & Bushwillow) – The event this week will be played across two parkland-style courses at the Randpark Golf Club. Both courses, Firethorn and Bushwillow, will play considerably shorter than their yardage totals due to the severe Johannesburg altitude. The Firethorn course will play this week as a 7,595-yard, par 72 while the Bushwillow course plays as a 7,114-yard, par 71. Players will alternate the courses Thursday and Friday, and those who make the cut will play Firethorn for rounds three and four.
Firethorn is the tougher of the two tracks, but players have been known to go super low on both. The finishing three holes have been described as “death or glory.” So, a close leaderboard on Sunday afternoon could produce some fireworks. Both courses are defined by target shots and tight, tree-lined fairways. Most write ups are targeting GIR and Scrambling as good indicators of strong play at Randpark, but with the forecast calling for significant rainfall, longer hitters may have a distinct advantage.
When making picks this week, I’ll be looking at Driving Accuracy (and Distance), GIR, putting, South African players, and recent form.
The 2000 South African Open was here at Randpark, and a few names that were on that entry list are here this week. Those names are: Darren Fichardt, Hennie Otto, Adilson Da Silva, Keith Horne, Thomas Aiken, and Wallie Coetsee.
Last year’s Joburg Open was also held here at Randpark and some notable players that finished well there are: Erik Van Rooyen, Shaun Norris, Tapio Pulkkanen, Joachim Hansen, James Morrison, Jinho Choi, and Paul Peterson.
2018 – 21 Chris Paisley (Runner Up: -18 Branden Grace) @ Glendower GC
2017 – 18 Graeme Storm (Runner Up, Playoff: Rory McIlroy) @ Glendower GC
2016 – 14 Brandon Stone (Runner Up: -12 Christian Bezuidenhout) @ Glendower GC
2015 – 11 Andy Sullivan (Runner Up, Playoff: Charl Schwartzel) @ Glendower GC
2014 – 19 Morten Orum Madsen (Runners Up: -17 Jbe Kruger & Hennie Otto) @ Glendower GC