The first event of the new DP World Tour takes place this week in Johannesburg, South Africa, as players are set to partake in the Joburg Open. Rebranding from the European Tour, this week marks the beginning of a three-week stretch in South Africa before play is set aside for the holidays until the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in mid-January.
In a co-sanctioned event with the Sunshine Tour, a large number of South Africans are chomping at the bit to win in their home country, most notably Dylan Frittelli, who plays almost exclusively on the PGA Tour during the year. With the PGA off until 2022, the man who now lives in Texas has returned to his motherland with hopes of capturing his first victory since the 2019 John Deere Classic.
Yet it is another South African in Dean Burmester who is the betting favorite for the 14th edition of the Joburg Open at +700 at Bovada. Our odds calculator gives the 32-year-old a 12.50 percent chance to capture another victory in South Africa after he collected the Sunshine Tour PGA Championship in early November.
Who Is Favored To Win The Joburg Open?
|Daniel van Tonder||+5000|
Odds as of November 23 at Bovada
Course and Analysis
The Joburg Open will once again take place at the Firethorn Course at Randpark Golf Course. At altitude and stretching north of 7,500 yards, this par 71 features numerous water hazards and tree-lined fairways. Whenever those characteristics are mentioned, strong drivers of the golf ball tend to come to the top of my mind.
A year ago, Wilco Nienaber was just a couple of holes away from capturing his first DP World Tour title at the Joburg Open. The 21-year-old South African made bogey on his final two holes, nearly hitting his tee shot on the par-3 17th into the water.
Eventually falling off the pace by two strokes, Nienaber came up just short of J.B. Hansen, who finished the tournament at 19 under. Other notables in the top 20 at the end of the Joburg Open included Shaun Norris, Brandon Stone, Richard Bland, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Dean Burmester and Antoine Rozner in a nice mix of decorated South Africans and European Tour mainstays. This year’s field is a bit less decorated, but should once again produce a dramatic Joburg Open, especially from the betting perspective.
Joburg Open Expert Selections:
Wilco Nienaber (+2500)
Nienaber will headline our outright selections for the Joburg Open as he appears ready to contend at Randpark GC once again. Despite a disappointing final stretch to end last year’s tournament, the young gun proved his game is more than capable of getting around the Firethorn Course.
While he struggled at the beginning of 2021, he has since secured a victory, winning the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour, a co-sanctioned Challenge Tour event. He lacked a bit of form in the middle months of his season but has since turned the corner and is on the cusp of contention.
Gaining strokes on the greens in five of his last seven measured events, Nienaber’s putter put an end to his inconsistencies. With recent finishes of T-6 at the Acciona Open de España and T-8 in the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final, he is a strong iron performance away from righting last year’s wrongs.
Marcus Helligkilde (+4000)
A name the casual golf fan should get familiar with is that of Marcus Helligkilde. The top man on the Challenge Tour, the Dane has had a 2021 to remember. Winning four times worldwide – three victories on the Challenge Tour and one in the Nordic Golf League – the 25-year-old has climbed his way inside the top 100 in the world and comes in at No. 80 in the official world golf rankings, one spot ahead of Rickie Fowler.
While the entirety of his year has been impressive, the recent run of form has been something special. A victory at the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge in early August was followed up with a runner-up finish a few weeks later at the B-NL Challenge.
Collecting a top-15 finish on the European Tour, Helligkilde rode the momentum into a victory at the Swiss Challenge, a runner-up result at the Challenge Costa Brava, and another victory at the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final. Strong throughout his game, if Helligkilde can find just a touch more accuracy and effectively avoid the trouble of the Firethorn Course, he has a real chance to add another trophy to his mantel.
Marcel Siem (+6600)
The 41-year-old made waves this past summer with his Open Championship performance. With his hair high and tight in a man bun, the German fist-pumped his way through Royal St. George’s and captured a T-15 finish along the way.
A well-known player in the mid-2000s, Siem’s game fell off a cliff, but with a victory at the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge the week before the Open Championship, he has once again returned to relevance. Going back and forth between the Challenge Tour and the DP World Tour since, the four-time European Tour winner has continued to rack up results.
Siem has been on fire, going on a run of T-21 at the Cazoo Classic, T-12 at the D+D Real Czech Masters, T-7 at the Omega European Masters, T-34 at the DS Automobiles Italian Open, T-15 at the Dutch Open and T-45 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
He struggled when the European Tour went to Spain, but I am not all too worried as he bounced back with a T-15 at the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Final. A perfect 4-for-4 with made cuts at the Joburg Open, Siem is worthy of consideration at this number.
Daniel Gavins (+10000)
The Englishman is as low as +5000 at numerous spots, but Bovada has remained firm at this price and I can’t pass it up. So, be sure to place this wager with our friends as they are clearly the market best at this point in time for the Joburg Open.
While Gavins has struggled with inconsistencies, the ball-striking has been something to behold, especially in his last start at the AVIV Dubai Championship. Leading the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, the 30-year-old gained more than 10 strokes on the field with his irons. Unfortunately, he lost even more on the greens with his putter and finished in a tie for 44th.
But when Gavins makes his way into the weekend, he tends to stick around till late on Sunday. His win at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational in August has been followed up with contention runs at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucia Masters.
Matteo Manassero (+12500)
Remember this guy? The Italian has struggled over the last few years, falling off the face of the planet, but he appears ready to return to his former self. A four-time winner on the European Tour in the late 2000s and early 2010s, Manassero has since been relegated to the Challenge Tour.
Collecting a tie for seventh at the British Challenge and a solo eighth-place finish at the Big Green Egg German Challenge in September, the 28-year-old hinted at a strong fall. He came through with a T-3 at the Challenge Costa Brava and T-8 at the Rolex Challenge Grand Tour.
Making his second start at the Joburg Open, this field should mirror that of the Challenge Tour to some extent. Take out the big names and Manassero has an opportunity to capture win No. 5 on the DP World Tour and propel himself back into the spotlight.
Rhys Enoch (+12500)
If the irons can come around for the Welshman at the Joburg Open, he should be right in the mix come Sunday. Enoch, a long driver of the golf ball and an adequate putter, usually trips up when his scoring clubs choose to not cooperate.
However, in his last measured event at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, Enoch captured a top-40 finish courtesy of gaining more than two strokes on approach. That should be welcomed news for the 2021 Kit Kat Group Pro-Am winner as he has done some of his best work in Africa. Clearly comfortable playing in this part of the world, Enoch has captured enough quality starts on the DP World Tour this past summer to make him worthy of consideration.
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Odds Shark Staff Sat, Aug 6, 2:25am