South Africa Open: golf betting guide

Our tipster analyses the field and comes up with some top tips ahead of the South Africa Open at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate in Ekurhuleni

Henrik Stenson

The South Africa Open Championship runs concurrently to the UBS Hong Kong Open this week as the European Tour nears its 2012 climax.

A host of big names, including Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and Martin Kaymer, have made the trip to the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate in Ekurhuleni, South Africa.

Other players, such as Jaco van Zyl, will he hoping to move into the top 60 in the Race to Dubai standings and earn a place in the 60-man DP World Tour Championship next week.

It is also the last chance for those languishing outside the top 115 in the standings to secure a full-time European Tour card for 2013.

At 7,761 yards, the course is one of the longest on tour, with driving distance and all-round length an indisputable advantage. Henrik Stenson, at 14/1 with Ladbrokes, is someone I expect to do well this week. He is one of the longest hitters on the European Tour and in good form, finishing inside the top 20 last week at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic despite a closing 73. He also finished in a tie for sixth last month at the Portugal Masters, and it won't be long before he returns to the winner's circle.

Jaco Van Zyl, at 25/1 with Labrokes, is worth considering this week. He needs to move up three places to book a place at next week's season finale, and will be confident of doing so in his home nation. He often excels in South Africa, as he showed with a fourth-place finish at the season-opening Africa Open and a tie for third the following week at the Joburg Open. Van Zyl also finished in a tie for 10th last week at the Barclays Singapore Open.

Jbe Kruger, despite his erratic nature, is a decent price at 40/1 this week. The South African missed the cut last week in Singapore, but played some fine golf at the PGA Tour's recent CIMB Classic en route to a seventh-place finish. He also performs adeptly on home soil, finishing eighth at the Africa Open and 10th at the Alfred Dunhill in 2011 and ninth in Johannesburg earlier this year.

Espen Kofstad, at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, will tempt the more ambitious gambler this week. He has only played three European Tour events, but he won the Challenge Tour Grand Final at the end of October to finish the season on top of the Challenge Tour money list. He will be confident and carefree after securing a European Tour card, and that could translate to a good showing in South Africa.

Merrick Bremner, at 125/1 with Ladbrokes, looks a good each way bet this week. The 25-year-old was just one shot off the lead at the halfway stage last year, and comes into the tournament off the back of two top-three finishes in his last three Sunshine Tour starts. Bremner is currently 18th in the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit and first in Putts per Round.

South Africa Open advised bets:

3pts on Henrik Stenson at 14/1 with Labdrokes 2pts on Jaco Van Zyl at 25/1 with Ladbrokes 2pts each way on Jbe Kruger at 40/1 with Ladbrokes 2pts each way on Espen Kofstad at 50/1 with Ladbrokes 1pts each way on Merrick Bremner at 125/1 with Ladbrokes 

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x