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Alfred Dunhill guide

A preview, stats and tips ahead of this week's Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek

By Dave Tindall Twitter: @DaveTindallgolf.   Last Updated: 27/11/13 11:39am

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Charl Schwartzel on the 15th hole at Leopard Creek Country Golf Club

Charl Schwartzel on the 15th hole at Leopard Creek Country Golf Club

Sky Bet

The European Tour remains in South Africa this week for the trip to Leopard Creek.

Designed by Gary Player and opened in June 1996, Leopard Creek will be staging its 10th co-sanctioned event this week.

The picturesque venue is located on the edge of Kruger National Park and has an array of water hazards such as brooks, streams, rivers and lakes.

The course gently undulates through many different types of vegetation while leopards often venture onto the fairways during the night.

PLAYERS with GOOD to REASONABLE FORM at LEOPARD CREEK

Full Tour History

Player: '04 / '05 / '06 / '07 / '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12

Thomas Aiken: Wd / 12 / MC / 57 / 4 / MC / 5 / MC / 55
George Coetzee: - / - / - / 18 / 45 / MC / - / 3 / 10
David Drysdale: - / MC / 25 / 28 / 29 / MC / 8 / MC / 25
Darren Fichardt: 17 / 73 / 4 / MC / 42 / 25 / 37 / 13 / 20
Richard Finch: 13 / 15 / 58 / - / MC / 61 / - / MC / 37
Keith Horne: 39 / 18 / 48 / 14 / 6 / 34 / 15 / 44 / 7
Scott Jamieson: - / - / - / - / - / - / 30 / MC / 3
James Kamte: 78 / MC / 58 / - / MC / 17 / MC / 9 / 70
James Kingston: MC / 27 / MC / 52 / 37 / 17 / 10 / MC / MC
Jbe Kruger: - / - / - / MC / MC / MC / 10 / 9 / -
Pablo Martin: - / - / - / - / - / Won / Won / MC / -
Gareth Maybin: - / - / - / - / 27 / 4 / - / - / -
Damien McGrane: 8 / 27 / - / - / 29 / 8 / 43 / - / MC
Edoardo Molinari: - / - / MC / 28 / MC / 15 / - / - / -
Titch Moore: 39 / 12 / 11 / 18 / MC / 44 / MC / - / MC
Garth Mulroy: - / - / - / - / 21 / 12 / MC / Won / 3
Hennie Otto: 39 / 60 / 6 / 9 / 29 / MC / 15 / 7 / 55
Robert Rock: - / - / 17 / 14 / 2 / 4 / 8 / 38 / 37
Charl Schwartzel: Won / 2 / 2 / MC / 14 / 2 / 2 / - / Won
Lee Slattery: 23 / MC / 25 / 2 / MC / MC / 37 / 44 / -
Richard Sterne: MC / 27 / - / 18 / Won / 4 / 30 / - / 7
Graeme Storm: 8 / MC / - / - / - / - / - / 15 / 55
Dawie Van Der Walt: - / - / - / MC / - / 17 / 10 / - / -
Tjaart Van Der Walt: - / 36 / - / - / - / 51 / 13 / 29 / 20
Jaco Van Zyl: MC / 8 / 17 / 57 / 45 / MC / - / 3 / 47
Peter Whiteford: - / - / - / 62 / - / 57 / MC / 3 / 47

PLAYERS with POOR to MEDIOCRE FORM at LEOPARD CREEK

Full Tour History

(No Top-40 Finishes from three or more starts)

Player: '04 / '05 / '06 / '07 / '08 / '09 / '10 / '11 / '12

Jaco Ahlers: - / - / - / - / MC / MC / MC / MC / MC
Matthew Baldwin: - / - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / 69
Dean Burmester: - / - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / MC
Tyrone Ferreira: - / - / - / - / MC / MC / MC / MC / -
Oliver Fisher: - / - / 58 / - / - / MC / Ret / - / -
Andrew Georgiou: - / - / - / - / - / MC / MC / MC / -
Tano Goya: - / - / - / - / 57 / - / - / 49 / 55
Justin Harding: - / - / - / - / - / - / 61 / MC / MC
Peter Karmis: - / MC / MC / - / - / MC / MC / - / -
Prinavin Nelson: - / - / - / - / MC / MC / MC / MC / -
Jake Roos: - / - / - / MC / 62 / MC / MC / MC / MC
Neil Schietekat: - / - / - / - / MC / MC / MC / 60 / MC
Teboho Sefatsa: - / - / - / MC / MC / - / MC / - / MC
Thabang Simon: MC / 68 / MC / MC / MC / MC / MC / - / MC
Divan Van Den Heever: - / - / MC / MC / MC / MC / 43 / MC / 44
Simon Wakefield: MC / - / - / - / - / - / - / MC / 44

TOP-25 Finishers at LEOPARD CREEK in 2012 (Not Already Listed Above)

Kristoffer Broberg: (2nd)
Andy Sullivan: (T-3rd)
Steve Webster: (T-7th)
Tyrone Van Aswegen: (T-12th)
Peter Lawrie: (T-15th)
Danie Van Tonder: (T-15th)
Magnus A Carlsson: (T-18th)
Lorenzo Gagli: (T-20th)
Justin Walters: (T-20th)
Desvonde Botes: (T-25th)

LOWEST 15 STROKE AVERAGES at LEOPARD CREEK

(Last Four Years 2009/12)

Average (Rounds)

67.92: Charl Schwartzel (12)
69.50: Garth Mulroy (14)
70.33: Richard Sterne (12)
70.50: George Coetzee (10)
70.60: Jbe Kruger (10)
70.63: Dawie Van Der Walt (8)
70.69: Robert Rock (16)
70.70: Jaco Van Zyl (10)
71.00: Darren Fichardt (16)
71.00: Keith Horne (16)
71.10: Pablo Martin (10)
71.14: Hennie Otto (14)
71.19: Tjaart Van Der Walt (16)
71.30: Scott Jamieson (10)
71.33: Vaughn Groenewald (12)

Min. No. of Rounds = 8

CHAMPIONS at LEOPARD CREEK

Of the nine previous winners, only Charl Schwartzel 12 months ago was inside the top-six after the opening round.

(Position Thru 18 Holes)

2004: Charl Schwartzel (23rd)
2005: Ernie Els (35th)
2006: Alvaro Quiros (75th)
2007: John Bickerton (7th)
2008: Richard Sterne (9th)
2009: Pablo Martin (14th)
2010: Pablo Martin (11th)
2011: Garth Mulroy (15th)
2012: Charl Schwartzel (2nd)

LOWEST ROUNDS at LEOPARD CREEK

61: Thomas Aiken (2008)
63: Pablo Martin (2009)
64: 14 times

Note: The lowest final round score at Leopard Creek is 65, carded by Bobby Lincoln (2005) and George Coetzee (2012)

Leopard Creek: Par 72; 7,326 yards

Winning Totals (Last Three Years):

2012: 264 (Charl Schwartzel)
2011: 269 (Garth Mulroy)
2010: 277 (Pablo Martin)

Conclusion

Charl Schwartzel poses with the trophy after taking victory last year

Charl Schwartzel surprisingly let a 54-hole lead slip last week but he may not make the mistake here.

Whereas the 2011 Masters champion has now failed to win his home South African Open in 12 attempts (perhaps this was on his mind and led to his final round wobbles), he's got a fantastic record in this event.

He's teed it up eight times in this tournament at Leopard Creek and has racked up two wins (2004 and 2012) and four second places (2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010).

No wonder he says: "I think about Leopard Creek the whole time - it's probably my favourite tournament of the year. I'm always really excited to go back, and especially this year as I'll be defending my title.

"It's one of my favourite courses in the whole world."

Don't expect a repeat of last year's 12-shot win but do expect to get a payout at 7/2 when he crosses the line in front.

One man who could push him is compatriot Garth Mulroy.

The 35-year-old from Durban won here two years ago and was third last year and also 12th in 2009.

Not outside the top 16 in his last seven starts on home soil, Mulroy tied for 10th in last week's South African Open and prior to that made the top 20 against strong opposition at two of the Finals Series events.

At 25/1 he's a sporting each-way price.

Finally, I'll give another go to young German Max Kieffer at 50s.

He has progressive form figures of 30-18-16-12 (the most recent in last week's World Cup) and also has the benefit of a previous outing at Leopard Creek.

That came last year when he was eighth after day one, sixth at halfway and 10th with a round to go before fading to 37th on the Sunday.

Europeans have won seven of the last 12 runnings and on that list is Kieffer's World Cup partner Marcel Siem. He made it his first European Tour win back in 2004 aged just 24.

There is some decent evidence that Kieffer, another young German in his early 20s, can repeat the feat.

Best bets

5pts win Charl Schwartzel at 7/2
2pts e.w. Garth Mulroy at 25/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)
1pt e.w. Max Kieffer at 50/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5)

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