Tshwane preview

A preview and key stats for this week's European Tour event - The Tshwane Open in South Africa

Last Updated: 27/02/13 11:29am

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Garth Mulroy: Can score the latest home win for the South Africans

Garth Mulroy: Can score the latest home win for the South Africans

Sky Bet

The European Tour makes a swift return to South Africa for the newest event on the professional calendar.

This week's Tshwane Open in Centurion is being staged at the Ernie Els-designed Copperleaf course and will be the richest event on the Sunshine Tour this year.

Opened five years ago, the course - situated around 25 miles north of Johannesburg - is built on land where Els's grandfather used to live.

It will be the sixth South African-based co-sanctioned European Tour event to be held during the last three months.

The course

Jaco Ahlers (local resident who is playing this week): "It's a long course but very open off the tee. I expect good scoring this week. It definitely won't play as long as the yardage (7,791) suggests due to the altitude. Three of the four par fives are over 600 yards and another 597 but they have moved the tee up on one of them and another you can reach in two big ones. However, big hitters do have an advantage because it's wide off the tee and you can just smash it."

SELECTED PLAYERS with GOOD to REASONABLE RECENT FORM in SOUTH AFRICA

Last Ten co-sanctioned European Tour events in South Africa

(Two Top-20 or Three Top-25 finishes during above period)

Player: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Jaco Ahlers: MC / 14 / MC / - / 33 / 14 / MC / - / 38 / 77
Thomas Aiken: MC / 14 / 24 / 9 / 3 / MC / 55 / - / 6 / 12
Bjorn Akesson: - / - / - / - / - / 8 / 25 / - / 34 / 22
Seve Benson: 20 / - / MC / - / - / 21 / - / - / MC / 15
Desvonde Botes: MC / 47 / 66 / - / 20 / 32 / 25 / - / MC / 5
Michiel Bothma: 66 / MC / 3 / - / 17 / 32 / MC / - / MC / MC
Magnus A Carlsson: 49 / 10 / 17 / - / 6 / MC / 18 / - / - / 42
Adilson Da Silva: - / 18 / 32 / - / - / 32 / - / - / 25 / 12
David Drysdale: MC / 18 / 3 / - / 55 / MC / 25 / - / 11 / 27
Bryce Easton: 20 / 62 / - / - / MC / 54 / MC / - / 14 / MC
Darren Fichardt: 13 / 18 / 46 / - / 6 / 39 / 20 / 29 / 25 / Won
Trevor Fisher: 49 / MC / 3 / - / 13 / 21 / MC / - / 6 / 27
Keith Horne: 44 / 62 / 60 / - / MC / MC / 7 / - / 6 / 32
Dave Horsey: - / - / - / 16 / - / 14 / MC / - / 38 / -
James Kingston: MC / 41 / MC / - / 20 / 21 / MC / - / 16 / 15
Jbe Kruger: 9 / MC / 9 / - / MC / - / - / 32 / 47 / 59
Sam Little: 15 / MC / 37 / - / MC / 8 / 50 / - / MC / MC
Morten Orum Madsen: - / - / MC / - / - / 4 / MC / - / MC / 20
Garth Mulroy: Won / 34 / MC / 29 / 50 / 21 / 3 / - / 9 / 4
Shaun Norris: 38 / 14 / 24 / - / 11 / 21 / MC / - / MC / MC
Hennie Otto: 7 / - / MC / 16 / 9 / MC / 55 / - / 19 / -
Julien Quesne: - / 54 / 24 / - / - / 8 / MC / 5 / - / -
Robert Rock: 38 / - / 9 / 12 / - / - / 37 / 24 / MC / MC
Lyle Rowe: - / 8 / 24 / - / MC / MC / MC / - / MC / 22
Andy Sullivan: - / MC / MC / - / 47 / MC / 3 / - / 60 / 5
Dawie Van Der Walt: - / 18 / 3 / - / MC / - / - / - / MC / MC
Tjaart Van Der Walt: 29 / 2 / MC / - / - / MC / 20 / - / 38 / 5
Danie Van Tonder: - / 29 / MC / - / MC / - / 15 / - / 19 / 32
Jaco Van Zyl: 3 / 4 / 3 / - / 33 / 8 / 47 / - / 11 / 2
Justin Walters: 32 / 70 / 37 / - / MC / 14 / 20 / - / 16 / 74
Marc Warren: MC / - / 3 / - / 17 / 21 / 30 / - / MC / -
Steve Webster: - / - / - / - / - / 2 / 7 / - / 29 / -
Danny Willett: - / 7 / 14 / - / - / - / 18 / 5 / MC / -

SELECTED PLAYERS with POOR to MEDICORE RECENT FORM in SOUTH AFRICA

Last Ten co-sanctioned European Tour events in South Africa

(No Top-35 finishes from three or more starts during above period)

Player: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Scott Arnold: - / - / - / - / - / 39 / - / - / MC / MC
James Busby: - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / - / MC / MC
JG Claassen: MC / 76 / Ret / - / MC / MC / MC / - / MC / MC
Matteo Del Podio: - / - / - / - / - / MC / 37 / - / MC / 71
Ignacio Garrido: - / - / - / - / - / 39 / MC / - / MC / 49
Andrew Georgiou: MC / 59 / MC / - / - / 54 / - / - / MC / MC
Alex Haindl: MC / MC / MC / - / MC / MC / MC / - / MC / MC
Scott Henry: - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / - / 50 / MC
Lasse Jensen: - / - / MC / - / 50 / - / - / - / 38 / 59
Soren Kjeldsen: - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / - / MC / -
Jose Manuel Lara: - / - / - / - / - / MC / Ret / - / 38 / -
Alexander Levy: - / - / - / - / - / MC / - / - / MC / 71
Chris Lloyd: - / - / MC / - / - / 39 / MC / - / MC / MC
Callum Macaulay: MC / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / - / MC / MC
Damien McGrane: - / MC / 46 / - / - / 54 / MC / - / MC / MC
PH McIntrye: MC / MC / MC / - / MC / - / - / - / 47 / MC
Titch Moore: - / 75 / MC / - / 47 / MC / MC / - / MC / 75
Albert Pistorius: MC / 62 / MC / - / MC / MC / MC / - / MC / -
Neil Schietekat: 60 / MC / MC / - / 42 / MC / MC / - / MC / MC
Teboho Sefatsa: - / - / MC / - / MC / MC / MC / - / MC / MC
Theunis Spangenberg: MC / MC / 55 / - / 61 / MC / MC / - / MC / MC
Ockie Strydom: - / 79 / MC / - / MC / MC / 62 / - / 63 / MC
Divan Van Den Heever: MC / MC / 37 / - / MC / MC / 44 / - / MC / MC
Simon Wakefield: MC / - / MC / - / - / 54 / 44 / - / MC / 49
Mark Williams: - / - / MC / - / - / MC / MC / - / MC / 78

TOP-10 Finishers in Last Month's AFRICA OPEN at East London (Not Already Listed)

Mark Tullo: (T-5th)

LOWEST 15 AVERAGE POSITIONS

(At European Tour events staged in South Africa during Last Four Years - since March, 2009)

Average (Events)

19.67: Darren Clarke (6)
29.14: Danny Willett (7)
30.67: Garth Mulroy (15)
31.13: Jaco Van Zyl (16)
31.44: Thomas Aiken (18)
33.33: Joost Luiten (6)
35.29: Tjaart Van Der Walt (14)
36.06: Darren Fichardt (18)
40.06: Keith Horne (17)
40.33: Robert Rock (15)
42.56: Trevor Fisher (16)
42.81: Jbe Kruger (16)
46.38: Marc Warren (8)
47.00: Mikko Korhonen (6)
47.75: Adilson Da Silva (12)

Note: Min. No. of Events = 6

MOST TOP-25 FINISHES

(At European Tour events staged in South Africa during Last Four Years - since March, 2009)

Total

12: Thomas Aiken
10: James Kingston
9: Darren Fichardt
9: Jaco Van Zyl
8: David Drysdale
8: Garth Mulroy
8: Keith Horne
7: Hennie Otto
7: Jbe Kruger
7: Robert Rock
7: Trevor Fisher
6: Tjaart Van Der Walt

DOMINANT HOSTS

South African pros tend to dominate on home soil.

Since January 1st, 2011, only two of the 13 co-sanctioned European Tour events staged in South Africa have been won by foreigners - Henrik Stenson and Scott Jamieson.

2011: Louis Oosthuizen (Africa Open)
2011: Charl Schwartzel (Joburg Open)
2011: Hennie Otto (South African Open)
2011: Garth Mulroy (Alfred Dunhill Championship)
2012: Louis Oosthuizen (Africa Open)
2012: Branden Grace (Joburg Open)
2012: Branden Grace (Volvo Champions)
2012: Henrik Stenson (South African Open)
2012: Scott Jamieson (Nelson Mandela Championship)
2012: Charl Schwartzel (Alfred Dunhill Championship)
2013: Louis Oosthuizen (Volvo Champions)
2013: Richard Sterne (Joburg Open)
2013: Darren Fichardt (Africa Open)

Conclusion

With South Africans so dominant in their home events, everything looks good for Garth Mulroy to add to their superb record.

After recent wins for well-known South Africans such as Richard Sterne, Darren Fichardt and Jaco van Zyl, Mulroy looks to be the next cab off the rank.

This course favours his big-hitting and two second places in the nearby Joburg Open shows he goes well in events played at altitude.

With recent form figures of 16-4-9-15 he's knocking at the door and his big hitting and hot putter look a great combination for success here.

He's fifth in Birdie Average on the Sunshine Tour stats so with scoring low he really does have the ideal game to cash in.

Jaco Ahlers, who speaks about the course in the course guide section above, lives just 15 minutes from this track and knows it well.

He was seventh in the Dimension Data Pro-Am last week and also finished tied fifth at this venue when it staged a Sunshine Tour event in 2010.

Ahlers said this week: "I played nicely last week and had my chances. I'm feeling more and more comfortable with my game. I've played here often and feel comfortable on this course. I'm really looking forward to a good tournament."

Perhaps the best way to cash in on his course knowledge is to back him for first round leader. He was fifth after round one last week and has been in the top 15 after round one in five of his last 10 starts.

It also seems reasonable to back him to make the top 20 at 9/2.

For a value European, try Magnus A. Carlsson at 50/1.

The Swede gives it a real smash off the tee (currently second in Driving Distance this year) and has three top 10s and a further two top 20s from his last seven starts in South Africa.

Carlsson was edged out in a play-off at the nearby Joburg Open by Richard Sterne in 2010 so he really does enjoy this part of the world.

The Africa Open was his only start of the season so, with the rust off, hopefully he can thrive here.

Best bets

2pts e.w. Garth Mulroy at 14/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Jaco Ahlers to be first round leader at 90/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
2pts Jaco Ahlers to finish in the top 20 at 9/2
1pt e.w. Magnus A. Carlsson at 50/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)

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