Nedbank Golf Challenge: Expert Preview

Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, North West Province, South Africa, Nov 8-11


Event and Course Details

For many years the Nedbank Challenge was a small 12 man invitational event. Since it has become a European Tour Event in 2013, with 30 players competing and in 2016 it became a 72 man field and part of the European Final Series.

The now Rolex Series consists of the top 64 players from the Race to Dubai standings and a few other invitations.

The Gary Player Country Club is a 6550m Par 72 layout, that was designed by Gary Player in 1978. It is a walking course with a 5km running trail along the side of the course. Built in an extinct volcanic crater, this immaculate golfing paradise was name South Africa’s best golf course at the 2015 World Golf Awards.


Weather Report

Thursday – Partly Cloudy, 27 Degrees, Precipitation 0%, Humidity 36%, Wind 13km/h

Friday – Sunny, 29 Degrees, Precipitation 0%, Humidity 29%, Wind 11km/h


Past Winners and Runners Up

Year Winner Score To par Margin of victory Runner-up
2017 Branden Grace 277 −11 1 stroke Scott Jamieson
2016 Alexander Norén 274 −14 6 strokes Wang Jeung-hun
2015 Marc Leishman 269 −19 6 strokes Henrik Stenson
2014 Danny Willett 270 −18 4 strokes Ross Fisher
2013 Thomas Bjørn 268 −20 2 strokes Jamie Donaldson, Sergio García

Top 25 Players - Current Form Review

Player Event 1 Event 2 Event 3 Event 4 Event 5 Scoring Average
1.        Rory McIlroy T54 T7 5TH T12 T50 -1.25
2.        Haotong Li 2ND T11 T9 T5 T27 – 2.20**
3.        Lucas Bjerregaard T5 T69 T9 1ST T20 -1.35
4.        Kiradech Aphibarnrat T23 T4 MC T45 MC -0.63
5.        Alexander Bjork T14 T28 2ND MC MC -1.13
6.        Ryan Fox T23 T30 MC T24 T27 -1.05
7.        Brendon Stone T72 T46 T81 T10 T12 + 0.00*
8.        Matthew Fitzpatrick T54 T16 MC 1ST T7 -1.26
9.        Jorge Campillo T35 T54 MC MC T44 + 0.05*
10.     Matt Wallace T47 T50 T16 T28 T44 -0.45
11.     Adrian Otaegui T3 T62 MC MC T24 -0.31
12.     Alexander Levy T10 T28 T42 T32 T82 -0.72
13.     Chris Wood MC MC T12 2ND T23 – 1.76**
14.     Shubhankar Sharma T43 T69 MC MC MC + 1.28*
15.     Julian Suri T23 T64 T5 T19 T28 -0.4
16.     Andy Sullivan T18 T62 T9 T10 T20 -1.05
17.     Sergio Garcia 1ST T7 T24 MC 39TH – 2.05**
18.     Andrea Pavan T33 T22 T16 T5 T20 -1.25
19.     Thomas Detry T3 MC T48 MC T3 -1
20.     Erik Van Rooyen T35 T22 MC MC T11 -0.25
21.     Brenden Grace T41 T48 T50 55TH T26 -0.6
22.     Dylan Fritelli T22 T54 T31 MC T23 -0.94
23.     Ross Fisher T64 T34 T32 T40 MC -0.28
24.     Lucas Herbert T35 T3 T7 T2 T28 – 2.25**
Shane Lowry T14 2ND T34 MC 6TH – 1.72**

Poor Form*- Players Averaging over par – Shubhankar Sharma is in horrible form at present, closely followed by Jorge Campillo and Brendon Stone.

Good Form** – Hoatong Li and Lucas Herbert lead the way of the inform players at present, closely followed Sergio Garcia who is quickly regaining his form. Shane Lowry and Chris Wood are the next best.


History at the Event for the past 3 years

Player 2017         2016 2015 Scoring Average
1.       Rory McIlroy DNP DNP DNP 0.96
2.       Haotong Li 4TH T20 DNP – 0.18**
3.       Lucas Bjerregaard T37 T32 DNP 0.82
4.       Kiradech Aphibarnrat T42 T39 DNP 1.15
5.       Alexander Bjork T52 DNP DNP 1.14
6.       Ryan Fox T52 DNP DNP 1.14
7.       Brendon Stone T66 69TH DNP + 3.15*
8.       Matthew Fitzpatrick T8 T20 DNP 0.06
9.       Jorge Campillo T27 T67 DNP 1.91
10.    Matt Wallace T34 DNP DNP 0.71
11.    Adrian Otaegui T60 T55 DNP 1.98
12.    Alexander Levy T37 T64 DNP 1.74
13.    Chris Wood 68TH T25 DNP 1.57
14.    Shubhankar Sharma DNP DNP DNP 0.96
15.    Julian Suri T42 DNP DNP 0.97
16.    Andy Sullivan 65TH T3 DNP 0.5
17.    Sergio Garcia DNP DNP DNP 0.96
18.    Andrea Pavan DNP DNP DNP 0.96
19.    Thomas Detry DNP DNP DNP 0.96
20.    Erik Van Rooyen DNP DNP DNP 0.96
21.    Brenden Grace 1ST T3 DNP – 1.18**
22.    Dylan Fritelli T42 DNP DNP 0.97
23.    Ross Fisher T34 T25 DNP 0.65
24.    Lucas Herbert DNP DNP DNP 0.96
25.    Shane Lowry T12 DNP DNP 0.47

Good History at Event** – Defending Champion Brendon Grace is quickly earning a reputation that he has a love affair with Sun City. He is by far the best player in the last two times the tournament has been played 72 man field. Hoatong Li is also strong at this event on two prior visits and is currently in form.

Poor History at Event* – Brendon Stone has horrible form here the past two years and is a player that is out of current form also.


My Rankings for the Tournament

Note – You can compare my rankings against the Betfair Market to find under the odds and over’s

Player Stroke Av My Rankings My Price Betfair
1.       Haotong Li 70.29 -1.7 10 20
2.       Sergio Garcia 70.21 -1.46 13 11
3.       Lucas Herbert 70.54 -1.45 16.5 65
4.       Shane Lowry 70.2 -1.38 20 26
5.       Matthew Fitzpatrick 70.19 -1.22 24 29
6.       Rory McIlroy 69.74 -1.21 28 9.6
7.       Andy Sullivan 69.9 -1.14 32 40
8.       Lucas Bjerregaard 70.29 -1.11 36 24
9.       Chris Wood 70.59 -1.09 40 120
10.    Andrea Pavan 70.21 -1.06 44 80
11.    Brenden Grace 70.48 -1 48 20
12.    Thomas Detry 70.06 -0.99 52 75
13.    Dylan Fritelli 69.95 -0.99 52 65
14.    Alexander Bjork 70.19 -0.98 60 70
15.    Ryan Fox 70.17 -0.95 65 75
16.    Kiradech Aphibarnrat 70.2 -0.72 70 36
17.    Erik Van Rooyen 70.03 -0.62 75 60
18.    Matt Wallace 70.58 -0.58 80 48
19.    Alexander Levy 70.62 -0.53 85 55
20.    Adrian Otaegui 70.29 -0.43 90 100
21.    Ross Fisher 70.81 -0.43 95 80
22.    Julian Suri 70.87 -0.42 100 55
23.    Jorge Campillo 70.08 -0.3 110 160
24.    Shubhankar Sharma 70.7 0.37 120 140
25.    Brendon Stone 71.68 0.42 130 140

“The Big Overs” – Lucas Herbert is a nice over this week, along with Chris Wood, Andrea Pavan and Li Haotong.

 “The Big Under’s” – Rory McIlroy is little too short for my liking, along with Brendon Grace, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Matt Wallace, Alexander Levy and Julian Suri.

Compare my prices to the Betfair market, to find outright betting “overs” and “under’s”, and also apply these odds to top 5, top 10, top 20, tournament match bets etc.


In Play Trading Opportunities

This tournament typically has high scoring averages due to the course difficulty. Could be a good option to “back” a player after the morning round day 1, and then “lay” them before they commence there afternoon Day 2 round. They could easily shorten in the market.

I will be playing the Par 5’s this week as I usually always do. If I see the leading players in a good position on the fairway, I will be inclined to place a “back” bet and then place a “lay” bet once the hole is completed, particularly if they have an iron into the green and the green is not heavily surrounded by trouble.

Note – 75% of leaders that lead by a shot entering the final round don’t win, and they average worse than the PGA Tour average. This can be a great strategy for 2 ball match betting and laying the leader in play, but only if they are below $3. Last week Li Haotong was $2 entering the final round and lost, he struggled with his game most of the day. This I notice is a common trait with leaders entering the final day, put simply “nerves”!

Difficult driving holes and players with poor driving accuracy percentages. If they find themselves in contention, lay tee-shots and re-back after the ball comes to rest.

Betting Strategy

I really like the tournament head to head match bets, and I have listed a couple of options below, possibly wait until Thursday evening when there is more liquidity in the pool. Below are some bet options to choose from.

Last week we were on fire with all 6 pre-tournament match bets profiting, hopefully we continue this week!

 BACK – Fitzpatrick to beat Aphibarnrat at $1.90 for 2 units

 BACK – Herbert to finish top 20 at $2.90 for 2 units

 BACK – Wood to finish top 20 at $4.00 for 2 units

 LAY – Suri for Top 20 at $2.80 for 1 unit

 BACK – Pavan to finish top 20 at $3.00 for 1 unit


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