Joburg Open Fantasy Preview

The European Tour heads to South Africa for the final event of the calendar year.

The Joburg Open takes place in the Johannesburg area, as the courses are nestled in a housing development at 5,000 feet above sea level. A massive field of 240 golfers will take on a pair of courses before the top 65 and ties will play the weekend at the Firethorn Course. Good luck getting 6-of-6 through on DraftKings! This is not the usual venue for this event, so don’t dive too deep into the course history.

The Firethorn Course will host three of the rounds this week. It is a par 72 that stretches out to 7,595 yards but like I already mentioned it’s played at a similar elevation as Denver so the course will play much shorter than that. With kikuyu grass from tee-to-green and bentgrass greens, past experience playing in South Africa will be key since those grasses are the norm around here.

Check out Dave Tindall’s Preview for more on the importance of familiarity in the area. The course is very tree-lined, as you can see in the photo below, without a ton of water in play.

Randpark

As a part of The Open Qualifying Series, the top 3 golfers (not previously qualified) will earn a ticket to The 2018 Open Championship. This is also the first time it’s been tri-sanctioned by the Euro Tour, Sunshine Tour, AND the Asian Tour. That means the Asian Tour Order of Merit narrative has a bit of life left in it, with just one more event after this one to decide the final Order of Merit winner. Gavin Green could lock up his crown just by playing the weekend in South Africa while someone else could vault their name up the list with a win. King Khongwatmai or Jazzy J are the two that come to mind. Both currently inside the top 10 on the Order or Merit.

Courses/events that could be potential pointers: Gary Player Course (Nedbank), Pretoria (Tshwane), Glendower (SA Open), Royal Johannesburg (normal Joburg venue), and Crans Sur Sierre (Omega Euro Masters).

Keeping it pretty simple with just four angles plus correlated courses, let’s see who plays well on similar setups:

Top Performers on Bentgrass Greens (since 2015)

Thomas Aiken
Louis Oosthuizen
Mikko Korhonen
James Morrison
Dean Burmester
George Coetzee
Dylan Frittelli
David Drysdale
David Howell
Aaron Rai
Matt Wallace

Top Performers against Weak Fields (since 2015)

Thomas Aiken
George Coetzee
Louis Oosthuizen
Mikko Korhonen
Dean Burmester
Dylan Frittelli
Matt Wallace
Ashun Wu
David Howell
David Drysdale
Carlos Pigem

Top Performers in Africa (since 2015)

Thomas Aiken
George Coetzee
Dean Burmester
Louis Oosthuizen
Mikko Korhonen
Romain Langasque
Joel Stalter
Keith Horne
Dylan Frittelli
Jacques Blaauw
Justin Walters

Top Performers during the Fall Season (since 2015)

Dylan Frittelli
George Coetzee
Louis Oosthuizen
David Drysdale
Darren Fichardt
Thomas Aiken
Anders Hansen
Mikko Korhonen
Matt Wallace
Justin Walters
Ben Evans

Top Performers on Correlated Courses (since 2015)

Dean Burmester
Thomas Aiken
Jacques Blaauw
Louis Oosthuizen
Justin Walters
George Coetzee
Darren Fichardt
David Howell
James Morrison
Mikko Korhonen
Dylan Frittelli

Golfers that show up on all FIVE lists: Louis Oosthuizen, George Coetzee, Thomas Aiken, Mikko Korhonen, Dylan Frittelli

Golfers that show up on 4-of-5 lists: Dean Burmester

Golfers that show up on 3-of-5 lists: David Drysdale, David Howell, Justin Walters, Matt Wallace

My Top 25 for the 2018 Joburg Open

1. Louis Oosthuizen Pre-Tourney WD; Add Zander Lombard to the list at #25
2. George Coetzee
3. Dylan Frittelli
4. Dean Burmester
5. Thomas Aiken
6. Mikko Korhonen
7. Matt Wallace
8. Shubhankar Sharma
9. David Drysdale
10. Gavin Green
11. Anders Hansen
12. Ashley Chesters
13. Jacques Blaauw
14. James Morrison
15. Aaron Rai
16. Darren Fichardt
17. Keith Horne
18. Carlos Pigem
19. Jazz Janewattananond
20. Phachara Khongwatmai
21. Adilson da Silva
22. Justin Walters
23. Daniel Brooks
24. Romain Langasque
25. Erik van Rooyen

This article has 5 comments

  1. What’s the deal with Louis, on the WD? What do you think he will be ranked after 2018? I say 10-15. I love guys that play big in the best fields? I think he gets one more major, before he hits 40. The high 70’s and the occasional 80+ binger were starting to pop up on him though. I say he gets healthy…he does a lot of things well…underrated swing, repeats well under pressure.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *