South African Open Fantasy Preview

DraftKings is usually a punching bag for complaints but I have to give them credit when it’s due. They’ve posted some reasonable GPPs for this week for Euro Tour action. Bravo. Now let’s get on with the event…

The South African Open has basically swallowed up the Joburg Open which is a long-running, tri-sanctioned event.

With three tours involved, everyone wants to jam as many golfers into the field as possible. That leads to a field list that exceeds 200 golfers.

To get all golfers through before sunset, two courses are used. The Bushwillow and Firethorn courses at Randpark in Johannesburg. That means the altitude is about 5,000 feet above sea level which is about 6% of help in terms of increased yardage.

Let’s look at Bushwillow first. Golfers will only play one round here this week. It’s a Par 71 that plays to 7,114 yards. When you look at it on a hole-by-hole basis and then adjust for altitude, this grades out as the SHORTEST course on the European Tour.

The host course will be Firethorn which golfers will see three times this week. Last year it was played as a 72 for the Joburg Open but it will be played as a Par 71 this year, right around 7,500 yards which is 90 yards shorter than last year when it played as a par 72. This looks like a longer layout but when you adjust for altitude, it still falls slightly on the short side of the spectrum. That helps explain why Shubhankar Sharma lifted the trophy here last year. Short and tree-lined with altitude, sounds like the WGC-Mexico Championship where we saw Sharma contend as well.

Both courses feature kikuyu on the fairways and rough and then bentgrass on the greens.

For more info on the setup and golfer quotes, give a look at the Fantasy Golfanac or read Dave Tindall’s preview over on Rotoworld.

Let’s dig through some past results to see who might like this layout…

Top Performers on Bentgrass (since 2015)

Branden Grace
Bernd Wiesberger
Charl Schwartzel
Louis Oosthuizen
Richard Sterne
Dylan Frittelli
Erik van Rooyen
Matt Wallace
George Coetzee
Dean Burmester

Top Performers on Short Courses (since 2015)

George Coetzee
Pablo Larrazabal
Dylan Frittelli
Charl Schwartzel
Paul Peterson
Richard Sterne
Scott Jamieson
Erik van Rooyen
Jacques Blaauw
Dean Burmester

Top Performers against Weak Fields (since 2015)

Charl Schwartzel
Matt Wallace
George Coetzee
Branden Grace
Dylan Frittelli
Erik van Rooyen
Bernd Wiesberger
Richard Sterne
Dean Burmester
Brandon Stone

Top Performers in Altitude (since 2015)

Branden Grace
Louis Oosthuizen
Charl Schwartzel
Dean Burmester
Jacques Blaauw
Richard Sterne
Justin Walters
Trevor Fisher Jr.
Darren Fichardt
George Coetzee

Top Performers in Africa (since 2015)

Branden Grace
Louis Oosthuizen
Charl Schwartzel
Dean Burmester
Trevor Fisher Jr.
Richard Sterne
Dylan Frittelli
Jeunghun Wang
George Coetzee
Scott Jamieson

Golfers that show up on all FIVE lists: Charl Schwartzel, Dean Burmesters, George Coetzee, Richard Sterne

Golfers that show up on 4-of-5 lists: Branden Grace, Dylan Frittelli

Golfers that show up on 3-of-5 lists: Louis Oosthuizen, Erik Van Rooyen

My Top 25 for the 2019 South African Open

1. Louis Oosthuizen
2. Dylan Frittelli
3. Matt Wallace
4. Dean Burmester
5. Erik van Rooyen
6. Branden Grace
7. Chris Paisley
8. Jacques Blaauw
9. Thomas Aiken
10. Pablo Larrazabal
11. Kurt Kitayama
12. Richard Sterne
13. Adilson da Silva
14. Matthieu Pavon
15. Trevor Fisher Jr.
16. Christiaan Bezuidenhout
17. Sean Crocker
18. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
19. Scott Jamieson
20. George Coetzee
21. Romain Langasque
22. David Drysdale
23. Darren Fichardt
24. Charl Schwartzel
25. Alejandro Canizares

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