The European Tour heads to the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate this week for the eighth and final event of this season to take place on South African soil. There’s a strong home presence for the second edition of the Tshwane Open and home based golfers have performed well in the South African events so far this season.
With us having tipped the winner of last week’s WGC Matchplay at 35/2, can we pick out the one to watch again this weekend?
Field tackle the longest course in European Tour history
The Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate is likely to provide a tough test for the competitors this weekend. At 7,964 yards it is the longest course in European Tour history and the first to have four par fives all measuring over 600 yards in length.
Ernie Els designed the Copperleaf course on the ground where his grandfather, Ernie Vermaak, used to live and the fourth hole is, at 685 yards, the longest in European Tour history.
Winner likely to come from a strong home contingent
It’s been a terrific year for South African golfers in their home tournaments. South Africans have won five of the seven events held there on the 2014 European Tour, with Thomas Aiken (Africa Open), George Coetzee (Joburg Open) and Dawie Van der Walt (Nelson Mandela Championship) being joined in the winners’ enclosure by Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel, who successfully defended their titles at the Volvo Golf Champions and Alfred Dunhill Championship, respectively.
George Coetzee is the highest ranked player to feature at Copperleaf and is the 32/5 favourite from compatriot Thomas Aiken (14/1). We prefer the chances of the defending champion, however, who has already won an event on the European Tour this season.
Dawie van der Walt may not be a household name but a win at the Tshwane Open for a second successive season would emulate the recent achievements of his countrymen Aiken and Coetzee. Van der Walt captured his debut European Tour title by two shots from fellow South African Darren Fichardt 12 months ago and the 31 year old looks well priced at 39/1 to become the first South African to win his first three European Tour titles on home soil.
Fichardt also offers decent value at 22/1.
Three European challengers to keep an eye on
The tall Dane Morten Orum Madsen won the South African Open in November and has registered three further top 30 finishes in the European Tour already this season. The 25 year old also finished T8 at Copperleaf last year with a very respectable 15 under par and could be one to follow at 29/1.
England’s Danny Willett has enjoyed a consistent start to this season with four top 20 finishes and, after a T5 finish here last year, is also one to watch at 24/1.
If you’re looking for an each-way chance at longer odds, England’s Oliver Fisher could be the man. Fisher finished T18 at the Nelson Mandela Championships and second at the recent Africa Open and so has a good recent record in South Africa.
The 25 year old may have missed the cut at this event in 2013 but, at 59/1, he represents good value on current form.
Check out all our pre-tournament odds on the 2014 Tshwane Open over on our main site at https://www.betbright.com/golf/51633018/56404148/95501829
The first tee-off is tomorrow, Thursday, February 27th at 4.30am UK time.