As the Tour arrives in South Africa, the Oracle has embarked on some good honest diamond mining, unearthing a few rocks sure to shine at Sun City:
Favourite this week is Louis Oosthuizen at 9/1. Lightly raced with only five starts since The Open. Third last time out and in the thick of it until the very end at the WGC–HSBC Champions. Also, solo third here in 2018, T8 in 2017 and 9th in 2017. With some big names resting until Dubai, Louis is the man.
Doc’s Top Five Best Each Way Bets
Alex Noren 22/1
Looked to be cruising last week in Turkey before a 74 in round three sent him hurtling down the leaderboard. Still managed a T4 clip in greens in regulation, something that will count much more this week in Sun City. Needs a little confidence boost after five consecutive “mid-table mediocrity” finishes but where better to get that than on a course where he won in 2016.
Matt Fitzpatrick 14/1
Very short odds for an each–way bet pre–tournament but how can you leave Matt off your betslip? Very down on himself on his way to a solo 7th at the WGC–HSBC last time out and that’s difficult to watch. It also says he knows his game is there, he’s had runner–ups in Germany, Sweden and Italy and he expects to win. T8 here in 2017 and if he has the right attitude, Fitz can get over the line here.
Shubhankar Sharma 50/1
If Matt Fitz was low odds I’m making up for it with Shubhankar Sharma at 50/1 who quietly goes about his business. T7 last week in Turkey to match his previous best of T7 at the Italian Open. Straight off the tee, a good course manager and hits a lot of greens; just the recipe to thrive at the Gary Player Country Club. Winner in South Africa before at the 2017 Joburg Open.
Lee Westwood 33/1
The old dog for the hard road. Defending Champion and three–time winner on the course, Westwood’s victory last year to bridge a four year drought was a great watch. Lee might be 46 now but he’s still competitive as a T4 in Portrush proved. T10 in Turkey last week and I think he’ll be right up there this week.
Kurt Kitayama 28/1
Arguably one of the players of the season on the European Tour with two wins and a slew of close shaves. Third in Italy, 4th in France and T2 in Turkey last week losing out in that six man playoff. It’s a real leap of faith here, Kitayama is a debutant, and we all know his style will be to smash it as far as possible and see what happens. But he is the form dog so what the heck!
Long Odds Glory Shot
Benjamin Hebert is 80/1 this week. His three runner–up finishes were all in birdie-fest events but he’ll be full of confidence this week.