Alfred Dunhill Championship Golf 2023 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

Alfred Dunhill Championship Golf 2023 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

The DP World Tour visits South Africa for the last time in 2023 this week when the Alfred Dunhill Championship gets played out at one of the more famous tracks in the country as we wind down the golfing calendar for the year.

Ockie Strydom won on home soil a year ago and he will be hopeful of making a successful defence of the title in a field which is equally as competitive as the ones we have seen in the opening swing of the new season so far.

Recent Winners

2022 – Ockie Strydom

2020 – Christiaan Bezuidenhout

2019 – Pablo Larrazabal

2018 – David Lipsky

2017 – No Tournament

2016 – Brandon Stone

2015 – Charl Schwartzel

2014 – Branden Grace

2013 – Charl chwartzel

2012 – Charl Schwartzel

The Course

It is the Leopard Creek Country Club that is the venue for the tournament this week. You never truly know what is more stunning here, the wildlife or the golf. Hopefully both will be fantastic around this par 72 track which measures 7,249 yards. The course underwent some work in 2017 and since then we’ve seen winning scores of -14 twice courtesy of an insane putting display from David Lipsky and that effort from Bezuidenhout, and -8 so this is a much tougher track than it used to be.

That makes accuracy very much a premium here. There was an element of that anyway with water in play on a number of the holes but since the changes the keys to success here very much seems to be hitting a lot of greens and having a very warm putter. The course has been fast and firm over the last two years and there is little to suggest we will get anything different here so accurate hitters who have been putting well should make the shortlist.

The Field

The field this week is largely of a South African nature and the three players who are inside the top 100 who have tee times this week are all from the sunshine nation. Dean Burmester has won both events in South Africa on the DP World Tour this season and he has moved up to 77 in the world rankings and is the highest ranked player on show as a result. The other two inside the top 100 are Thriston Lawrence and Erik van Rooyen.

We have five of the early top 10 in the Race to Dubai standings in the field this week. Darren Fichardt is the leader of them with Jesper Svensson, Renato Paratore, Dan Bradbury and Zander Lombard completing the quintet. Jayden Schaper is just outside that while Louis de Jager, Matteo Manasseo and Gavin Green will all be looking to build on a solid start to the season. Elite stars Louis Oosthuizen and Branden Grace are also in the field this week.

Market Leaders

Dean Burmester is looking to complete a clean sweep of the South African titles in the pre-Christmas part of the DP World Tour before heading off to play on the LIV Golf circuit once again. He is 15/2 on the best prices to win this tournament and add it to the Joburg Open and SA Open that he has already won. He was seventh here last year, which was a first top 10 in the tournament in 10 starts so this isn’t his happiest hunting ground but he is clearly in great form. Winning three weeks in a row is tough though.

Louis Oosthuizen is a 14/1 second favourite to land the title for a first time. He has three top 10s in his last four starts in the tournament and has finished twice in his Leopard Creek career but he was playing much more regularly with better form on those occasions. He hasn’t pulled up any trees at all on the LIV Golf circuit recently and this is the first of the South African events over the last couple of weeks that he has teed it up in. The class is permanent tag would need to ring true for Oosthuizen to win this week.

Branden Grace is also a 14/1 joint second favourite to win the tournament this week. He has won around here before so that would certainly give him the edge on Oosthuizen for me. His record at Leopard Creek is actually very good. He has finished third and fourth in the last two tournaments here and four top 10s on his record in his last six starts in the event. His form tailed off from around August onwards but in the main he has gone well on the LIV circuit and shouldn’t be dismissed lightly.

Another former winner in Christiaan Bezuidenhout comes next in the betting at 16/1 on the best prices. He has had a solid if unspectacular start to the season with a couple of top 20 finishes in the opening two South African events this term but now he probably gets to go at a course which most suits the better parts of his game. Bezuidenhout had to wait two years to attempt to defend the title he won in 2020 because of the pandemic and was T26 when that opportunity came around. He shouldn’t be dismissed either.

Main Bets

Branden Grace might be a short price but you usually get top drawer winners around here and that makes me think that even at 141 he might be value to win the tournament this week. Grace has an excellent record around here and while he is on the LIV circuit now he has been performing well on it in the main. Conditions should suit him fine and he is a very solid player from tee to green and decent enough on the greens. If the course delivers a genuine top level winner again this week then we are probably only looking at five or six possible winners. Grace is very much one of them at 14/1.

Dan Bradbury won in this part of the world last year and the way he is hitting the ball at the minute I don’t think he is without a chance this week. Bradbury opened up the new season with a T3 finish in the Joburg Open where he concluded with a 64 and although he finished down the field last week he was sitting three under at the halfway mark before it went a little pear shaped. Prior to all that Bradbury was fifth in the Nedbank so there is something about South Africa which clearly agrees with him and at 25/1 I’ll pay to see how he goes here.

Outsiders

I’ll go with three outsiders this week as it is the only tournament that is taking place. If we get a top class winner then Andy Sullivan can’t be ruled out. At his best he is more than good enough to deliver the goods in this field and he already has a third placed finish here, albeit 11 years ago, when he carded a third round of 64. Two of the Sullivan four wins on the DP World Tour have come in South Africa so we know that he can win in this part of the world. Sullivan has started the season well enough without anything out of the ordinary but this course suits his strengths and I’ll pay to see how he goes.

Darren Fichardt has already gone very well at the Joburg Open and now he is on a course which probably suits him a lot better than that one did. The thing that would have held him back at the beginning of the season was the length of the tracks. That isn’t a factor this week so I like the chances of Fichardt, who is hitting greens for fun and looks to be striking the ball so solidly. His putter can be a hit or miss but at the price I’m happy to pay to see whether it is hit this week or not. Fichardt has a number of top 20 finishes around here and is in the sort of form to better that this time around.

Francesco Laporta won on the Challenge Tour last year and he finished the season on the second tier circuit with four top 10 finishes in his last five starts. He has carried some solid form into this term with him having finished in the top 10 last week on a course which you would have imagined was a country mile too long for the Italian. This one certainly won’t be and as with the majority of Italians, Laporta is very good from tee to green and that is the majority of the test around here. He has some solid numbers in South Africa under his belt and I’ll pay to see if he achieves another one here.

Tips

Back B.Grace to win Alfred Dunhill Championship (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 15.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

Back D.Bradbury to win Alfred Dunhill Championship (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 26.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

Back A.Sullivan to win Alfred Dunhill Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 61.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

Back D.Fichardt to win Alfred Dunhill Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Sky Bet (1/5 1-8)

Back F.Laporta to win Alfred Dunhill Championship (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 126.00 with Betfair (1/5 1-7)

Author: Roy Jackson