The Joburg Open makes its return to the European Tour schedule this week kicking off a run of three events that will take place in South Africa over the next month. The tournament was last held in December 2017 and Shubhankar Sharma is happy about the late addition to the season schedule. Sharma finished three shots in the clear for his maiden Tour victory and will attempt to defend his title three years later. A strong contingent of South African golfers stands in his way led by betting favorite Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who is the only player in the field to compete in last week’s Masters. A watered down field has led to fewer matchups, but there is still plenty of money to be won. Visit BookMaker.eu for a complete, updated list of matchup betting odds and to place your wager.
Joburg Open Matchup Odds at BookMaker.eu
Adri Arnaus -125 vs. Marcus Armitage -105
Alexander Levy -115 vs. Scott Jamieson -115
Antoine Rozner +100 vs. Shubhankar Sharma -130
Brandon Stone -105 vs. Christiaan Bezuidenhout -125
Dean Burmester -105 vs. Wilco Nienaber -125
Daniel van Tonder -125 vs. Shaun Norris -105
Gavin Green -115 vs. Matthew Jordan -115
Garrick Higgo -115 vs. Joost Luiten -115
Louis De Jager -125 vs. Will Besseling -105
Masahiro Kawamura -115 vs. Sean Crocker -115
Christiaan Bezuidenhout -120 vs. Adri Arnaus +100
Brandon Stone -120 vs. Matthew Jordan +100
Adrian Otaegui -110 vs. Joost Luiten -110
Gavin Green -110 vs. Marcus Armitage -110
Garrick Higgo -110 vs. Shubhankar Sharma -110
Daniel van Tonder -120 vs. Johannes Veerman +100
Wilco Nienaber -110 vs. M.J. Daffue -110
Dean Burmester -120 vs. Antoine Rozner +100
Need to Know
The tournament returns exclusively to the 7,506-yard, par-71 Firethorn course at Randpark Golf Club for this year’s edition after playing across two different courses in 2017. Firethorn is a relatively easy parkland track set at altitude, which will make it play shorter than the listed distance. Players who can drive the ball set themselves up for scoring opportunities that are out there. Water on a few holes and deep greenside bunkers offer some resistance, but not much for the pros. Locals used to the conditions and kikuyu grass fairways likely have an advantage and that’s played out over previous editions, though not solely at Randpark. Of the previous 12 champions, eight have been South Africans. With a weaker field of non-RSA players the odds of another native emerging victorious are good.
Joburg Open Matchup Picks
Garrick Higgo -110 vs. Shubhankar Sharma
Since I mentioned the success of South African players at this event I have to look at the natives closely. And why not back Higgo, who starred on the Sunshine Tour before making a splash on the European circuit. He’s been playing professionally for only a few years, tearing up the lower level tour with several victories, including the Sunshine Tour Championship. In just his seventh start on the Euro Tour, Higgo claimed the title at the dual-ranking Open de Portugal. He’s been so good a misstep was expected, and that came with a MC at the Cypress Showdown. He’s a talent and he should star in this field of players.
Gavin Green -110 vs. Marcus Armitage
I’ve passed over Green in previous events, but it’s hard to ignore what he’s done. He was blistering before the shutdown, finishing no worse than T27 in six starts and he heads to South Africa off the best finish of his eight post-lockdown starts. His T7 at the Cyprus Showdown ended his worst stretch of golf this year, and his metrics point to a strong showing this week. He ranks among the top-10 in driving distance and his accuracy puts him in the top-30. His approach game is strong and putting improved last time out. It might be worth dropping a few bills on Green to win the tournament outright, but I’ll take him in this matchup.
Daniel van Tonder -125 vs. Shaun Norris
With little more to prove on the Sunshine Tour, van Tonder takes a step up in competition this week, though I doubt he’ll be frightened by the lineup of players. He’s won four times in his last six starts on the lower-level tour moving up to No. 145 in the OWGR, making him the fourth-highest ranked player in the field. There’s a good chance that run of exceptional form continues in his home country, which is why I’m backing him in this matchup.
Will Besseling -105 vs. Louis De Jager
Besseling is 9 for 10 since the restart and he’s coming off a pair of top-20s at the Cyprus Open and Italian Open, so his game appears to be in good shape. He grabbed a share of third at the Alfred Dunhill Championship last December, an event played in South Africa, and he narrowly missed the cut at the SA Open, despite shooting a second round 66 at Randpark. He’s comfortable in the surroundings and looks like a good pick in this matchup.
Dean Burmester -105 vs. Wilco Nienaber
Sticking with the theme of South African golfers why not go with a matchup of natives? I had a hard time picking between the two but leaned toward Burmester based on his last start and his ET history. His most recent outing was badly needed after posting three straight MCs. It’s hard to say he’s out of his funk, but a T5 at the Italian Open is a good start. His season stats bode well for a good finish. Burmester ranks among the top-40 in strokes gained: off the tee and is 22nd in birdie average.
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