Nedbank Golf Challenge: Home Favourites but Value Lies Elsewhere
The Race to Dubai looks as if it will go all the way down to the wire this year but current leader Tommy Fleetwood maintains a narrow advantage. The challenge, meanwhile, comes from Justin Rose who completed back to back wins on Sunday to put the pressure firmly on.
However, Rose has taken a rest this week but while that particular contest continues, there is a tournament to be won at the Gary Player Golf Club in Sun City, South Africa.
Out in Front
Given Fleetwood’s status as the best player in Europe this season you may expect him to head the betting for this event but local golfers are getting most attention from the bookies. Fellow South Africans Branden Grace and Louis Oosthuizen can both be picked up at best odds of 16/1 with bet365 and 10Bet although the last home-based player to win the Nedbank Golf Challenge was Trevor Immelman back in 2007.
Marginally ahead of that pair is England’s Tyrrell Hatton who is the outright favourite at a top price of 14/1 with Paddy Power and Betway. Hatton recorded back to back wins on the European Tour in October and followed that run with a respectable finish in Turkey at the weekend.
Hatton is the form horse but there is plenty of value as we move through the field this week.
Chasing the Leaders
That value may well start with Race to Dubai leader Fleetwood who is quoted at a best of 20/1 with bet365 and Coral. That price represents a shortening from 25/1 when the markets opened so golf punters have realised this is a tempting proposition.
Fleetwood has no great immediate form and was 23rd in the Turkish Airlines Open last time out but based on the entire season, he has to be considered in South Africa.
Other interesting prices among the chasing pack include our defending champion Alex Noren who can be found at a top price of 25/1 with BetBright and Unibet. The Swede has followed up last year’s victory with a positive 2017 that included a win in the BMW PGA in May but hasn’t finished inside the top 30 in his last three outings.
In contrast, Matthew Fitzpatrick has recorded four straight top ten finishes and the man who heads the Power Rankings for the Nedbank is on offer at a best of 20/1 for the win. Fitzpatrick also won the European Masters back in September and alongside Tyrrell Hatton he is the man showing the best form ahead of this event.
Lee Westwood has enjoyed a consistent year without ever really threatening to land a win but the Englishman will tempt many at his outright win price of 45/1 with BetBright. Westwood is among a clutch of golfers who performed well in Turkey last week and that list includes Kiradech Aphibarnrat who finished in a tie for sixth and can be taken at best odds of 33/1 with Boylesports for the win.
Others who carry over immediate form from the Turkish Airlines Open include Thorbjorn Olesen at 40/1, Padraig Harrington at 80/1 and Matthew Southgate at an excellent 100/1 with SkyBet and 188Bet. All of those men stayed in touch with the winner Justin Rose and they have the capacity to be even better this week.
South African players have a reasonable record in this event but home advantage doesn’t necessarily justify the prices for Oosthuizen and Grace at the top of the market. We haven’t had a multiple winner since Westwood completed his second victory in 2011 and the Englishman would equal the existing record of three wins with a triumph this week.
At par 72, the course at Sun City stretches for over 7,800 yards so the big hitters should have an advantage. Taking everything on board, it looks like an open field but it’s easy to see why Hatton, with those two straight wins in October, is the favourite.
Matt Fitzpatrick makes a strong case too with consistent form and a win in September but we’re backing Tommy Fleetwood this week. The Englishman’s own form has dipped but a renewed challenge from Rose in the Race to Dubai should help him to raise his game and he has the undoubted quality to take the trophy.
If you don’t fancy Fleetwood for the straight win, 20/1 with bet365 remains a good price for an Each Way punt while Tyrrell Hatton at 11/8 with SkyBet for a Top Ten Finish could be one of the safer bets of the week.
To balance that second figure, we’ll add in a long shot of Matthew Southgate at 8/1 with William Hill to finish inside the top ten. That’s simply an excellent price for one of the most promising golfers around right now.
- Tommy Fleetwood Each Way at 20/1 with bet365
- Tyrrell Hatton for a Top Ten finish at 11/8 with SkyBet
- Matthew Southgate for a Top Ten finish at 8/1 with William Hill