Betting Tips for 17th to 20th March 2022
Jack Nicklaus was a prolific golf tournament winner during his playing days and he is no less prolific as a golf course designer since his professional retirement. Designs by Nicklaus can be found around the world including in South Africa. After Pecanwood Golf & Country Club hosted last week’s MyGolfLife Open, the DP World Tour travels less than 30 miles closer to Johannesburg to another Nicklaus course for this week’s event.
The Club at Steyn City is more of what you might call a classic Nicklaus design. He loves playing with changes in elevation at his golf courses and the ground at Steyn City is more amenable to that than the flat ground at Pecanwood. Expect some challenging decisions to players and caddies off the tees and into the greens and run-off areas around the putting areas. Add the threat of water hazards from the Juskei River which winds its way through the centre of the course and we should see par defended more resolutely this week compared to last.
For all the differences between the two courses, we have a betting market that looks remarkably like last week’s leaderboard. The main protagonists from Pecanwood are all present at the head of the betting but this is a competitive looking field and on a course which is new to most of them it could pay to head a little further down the betting in the search of a winner at tasty odds.
The first player to turn to in Steyn City is Matthieu Pavon. The Frenchman saw his world ranking fall alarmingly during 2021 but has managed to pull out of his nose dive and could well be on his way back to the top 100 in the official world rankings. He is just inside the top 100 of the world in terms of his strokes gained off the tee while he’s only just outside for strokes gained approaching the green. There is a lot of work still to be done but he’s shown he has the appetite to get that work done and after a good week in Pecanwood where he finished 15th, Pavon could just be ready to seriously challenge for the Steyn City Championship at odds of 33/1.
Edoardo Molinari knows all about the perils of losing your game and the amount of work it takes to find it again. The Italian has some way to go before he gets himself back towards the best players on the DP World Tour but he should feel confident that he can compete against this standard of opposition. The long term trends show that Molinari is doing well with his irons and wedges but is being badly let down with his putter. He had a torrid time on the greens at Pecanwood but we all know how fickle putting can be. Moreover, this is unlikely to be the putting contest that last week was, allowing Molinari to lean into his ball-striking strength and suggesting he could go better than his odds of 110/1 suggest.
Finally, give each way support to South African Brandon Stone. It’s fair to say that his career has not gone exactly to plan so far but there is no doubting the talent that he possesses. Two of Stone’s three DP World Tour wins have come on home soil and he has won two further times on the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. Stone will hope that his big-hitting will give him the edge on the field this week. It will only be an advantage if he is able to perform better into and on the greens but his class makes him a danger at a chunky price of 40/1.
|2022||The Club at Steyn City||Shaun Norris|
2022: Shaun Norris
The hope ahead of the inaugural Steyn City Championship was that the Club course at Steyn City would provide a sterner test than the previous week in Johannesburg. The Jack Nicklaus design includes plenty of trouble but the DP World Tour players were largely able to safely navigate it. The cut fell on anybody on -4 or worse and Shaun Norris had to get to -25 to win the event by three shots.
For a worrying period during the second round Norris must have felt that he was never going to reach a winning score. The South African went into the final round with a four-shot lead but conspired to throw it away after a nightmare start where he bogeyed the first two holes and saw Dean Burmester go on a bit of an early charge.
Norris knew that his game was in very good working order though. He also had positive feelings about the course, having picked up shots on so many of the holes during his excellent play in the first three rounds. With Norris keeping the pressure high, Burmester finally cracked with a double bogey six on the 17th hole. The winner then put all the drama behind him by seeing out the win with a par on his 72nd hole.