The Gary Player GC at Sun City provides a variety of challenges, with some holes demanding careful plotting and others brute strength – the signature ninth hole is a whopper at 596 yards and features an island green, others have blind tee shots or second shots and the par five 14th is another monster at a touch over 600 yards long. At an overall 7,831 yards it favours the big hitters.
Ian Woosnam famously landed the first $1m prize here in 1987, with subsequent champions of this famous tournament including Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, Ernie Els (three times), Henrik Stenson and Lee Westwood. After a series of good results at this venue, Branden Grace finally got his hands on the trophy last year, while Alex Noren won by six shots during a period of dominance a year earlier. The Australian Marc Leishman had won by the same margin in 2015.
A 72-man field is headed by Rory McIlroy, who has placed in the top 10 on four of his last six starts despite being some way short of peak form. The Northern Irishman is a best price of 15/2* with Paddy Power. Sergio Garcia made it three wins on the spin at the Andalucia Masters on his last outing and the world number 27 is second in the betting at 10/1* with most bookmakers.
Li Haotong was beaten in a play-off by Justin Rose in Turkey on Sunday and the Chinese star is at 16/1* with Paddy Power and Betfred, with Louis Oosthuizen at the same price with Ladbrokes and William Hill. The South African boasts a fine record at Sun City, with
four consecutive top 10 finishes. Defending champion Grace can be backed at 18/1* with Bet365 and Betfred.
It’s been a mixed year for Matthew Fitzpatrick, who hasn’t consistently produced his best form but who has claimed his fifth European Tour victory, when he successfully defended his Omega European Masters title in September. This is another venue where the young Englishman has performed well, with his results improving year-on-year. From a tie for 20th place three years ago, he shared 16th in 2016 before finishing in eighth place last time around. Ladbrokes, William Hill, Paddy Power, Coral and Betfred are the bookmakers offering him at odds of 25/1.*
Martin Kaymer is a multiple winner around the world, with his string of victories including one here in 2012. The former world number one has struggled for form over recent years, slipping out of the world’s top 100 for the first time since 2006. Now ranked 150th, he has sporadically produced results in 2018, with his three top 10s including one last week in Turkey. The German was fifth here last year and this tournament might just have come at the right time for him. Take a chance on him at 40/1* with Bet365 or Betfred.
|*All odds quoted are subject to change|