Gone With The Wind The South African Open Championship is the European Tour's second stop of the new golfing season this week as it heads to the Pearl Valley golf club, where if anyone is to get a healthy lead built up, it's likely they will have to be able to deal with some very strong winds that are being forecasted. The scoring in the 2008 and 2007 South African Open championships couldn't be much more contrasting with only a handful of players breaking par in 2007 compared to a -14 total winning score last year. I assume the reason for this was the weather and with the high winds forecasted this week, I'll focus more on the 2007 than the 2008 leaderboard when taking into account course form. James Kingston was the man who came out on top in 2007.... Stay tuned for Expert Value South African Open Championship Picks .....
As mentioned, strong winds are forecasted so my picks will centre around competent wind players. Also, i'll be focusing on the Early/Late side of the draw as I feel this gives the players the best chance of avoiding the worst of the windy conditions. The Pearl Valley course itself plays just over 7,300 yards long with pretty generous fairways and not too much rough. However, hazards come into play on 9 holes.
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South African Open VALUE Picks:
-1pt E/W James Kingston @ 35/1 (Betfred ) Kingston took this championship down 2 years ago in poor conditions weather wise and looked in good form last week. His putter is generally what lets him down but on his home(and slow) greens, it may not be too much of a problem this week
-1pt E/W Damien McGrane @ 45/1 (Boylesports) Good tournament last week, on the early side of the draw and a bad weather specialist. Also has course form.
-1pt E/W Robert Rock @ 33/1 (Boylesports) Tied for 4th last week and showed his qualities battling windy conditions at the 3 Irish Open last year. Another early starter.
-1pt E/W Thomas Aiken first round leader @ 40/1 (Boylesports) aiken is so inconsistent that i can't have him for the outright/EW but on acourse like this and with an early tee time Thursday, he could grab an early advantage