Houghton Country Club plays host to this week’s Joburg Open, the first event of the DP World Tour season.
HOUGHTON COUNTRY CLUB
It surprised me that Houghton has not been used as a venue for a mainstream tournament since hosting the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2004.
The course plays to a par 72 and although at face value it looks very long, due to the high altitude it is actually very playable for some of the less lengthy hitters although of course distance off the tee is an asset.
There are plenty of trees and bunkers to catch wayward shots but the course should throw up some low scores this week.
Last years Joburg Open was played at Randpark and was cut to 36 holes due to weather and European players racing back home to beat Covid restrictions.
THE FIELD AND BETTING
Christiaan Bezuidenhout tops the betting boards at 7/1 and as you will see below I make him a worthy favourite in a fairly weak field by DP World Tour standards. George Coetzee and defending Champion Thriston Lawrence are 14/1 with Hennie Du Plessis 20/1.
2021 – Thriston Lawrence (36 holes)
2020 – Joachim B. Hansen -19
2019 – No Tournament
2018 – No Tournament
2017 – Shubhankar Sharma -23 (December)
2017 – Darren Fichardt -15 (February)
2016 – Haydn Porteous -18
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BETTING – Click here to bet
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 7/1
George Coetzee 14/1
Thriston Lawrence 14/1
Hennie Du Plessis 20/1
Oliver Bekker 25/1
33/1 and better the balance
Christiaan Bezuidenhout win only at 7/1
He looks a standout pick this week given his excellent record in South Africa and his top 5 finish against a much stronger field in the Nedbank Challenge. He has won 3 DP World Tour titles and can take advantage of a field lacking in star quality this week.
Thriston Lawrence each way at 14/1
Lawrence will have been delighted with last years win but he will want to do it over the full 72 holes this time around. He won in Switzerland earlier this year and was 13th at Sun City and 41st last week in Dubai. Having 2 players at the top of the betting boards worked well for us last week (in Dubai) and I am trying a similar strategy this week.
Wilco Nienaber each way at 40/1
The long hitting Nienaber nearly delivered the goods in this tournament 2 years ago but I have been a bit disappointed he hasn’t really kicked on since then. I am expecting some good performances on home ground and if he can get the driver going he can bring this course to its knees.
JBE Kruger each way at 225/1
Kruger has been plying his trade on the Japanese Tour and had a 12th placed finish a couple of weeks back. He returns to home soil where he has put in some good performances over the years and with my staking plan loaded towards the shorter prices he is a nice speculator to throw in.
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change