The European Tour has spent the last three weeks in the middle east and is now venturing down south to South Africa for the Joburg Open. The tournament is in its ninth year as European Tour event and if you should back anyone to win, make sure he is South African. With the past four winners being South African, these include: Charl Schwartzel who has won twice in 2010 and 2011, Brendan Grace and last years winner Richard Sterne who is looking to win the tournament for a third time this year.
The tournament itself will be played over two courses at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf club. The first two rounds will be shared between the east and west courses, before the east course takes over for the final two rounds. The east course is 455 yards longer than that of the west course which is why the east course is a par 72 in comparison to the par 71 of the west course.
Charl Schwartzel is the odds on favourite to win the tournament outright. After winning last time he was on home soil in early December at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, his odds are as good as 7/2 as the outright leader. Since the Alfred Dunhill Champonship, Schwartzel has played in three tournaments all of which he has come in the top 15. The South African came sixth at the Nedbank , fourth in Thailand and 15th in the Volvo Golf Championship in Durban.
The underdog of the tournament is Schwartzel’s fellow countryman George Coetzee despite not yet winning on the European tour. However his start to the 2014 season has gone off to a flyer with a fourth and fifth position in Abu Dhabi and Qatar have added onto his record of near misses. Could this be his time to shine?