Schwartzel chasing Joburg Open milestone
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2012 The Joburg Open | Preview | 12 Jan 2012
The European Tour stays in South Africa this week when it again joins forces with the Sunshine Tour of South Africa to stage the Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in Johannesburg in Gauteng.
The tournament first became a European Tour event in 2007 and in all but one of the occasions it has been held it has been played at this week’s venue.
Charl Schwartzel did not play last week in East London but he is aiming for a rare treble this week when he attempts to win this event for the third consecutive year.
Given the form he has displayed in recent months, which has included six consecutive top tens in his last six starts worldwide, he is the standout favourite.
Schwartzel also played well at the Presidents Cup, he and Geoff Ogilvy leading the Internationals in points earned.
Retief Goosen has finally got things headed in the right direction with a very good tournament last week at the Africa Open when third behind Louis Oosthuizen, that effort following a 6th place finish at the South African Open in November. Goosen slipped outside the top 50 in world ranking last year but it would appear he is on the way back.
Thomas Aiken finished 3rd in this event last year and had a solid if unspectacular week when 14th in East London. He was 3rd at the recent South African Open and should do well.
Former winner, Richard Sterne, gave an indication when 6th last week at the Africa Open in his first tournament back after injury that it will not be too long before he is winning in South Africa once again.
Tjaart Van der Walt finished runner-up to Oosthuizen last week and 7th last year in this event. His longer odds are quite attractive from a betting viewpoint this week.
Jaco Van Zyl is developing into a high class player and has put together a lot of good tournaments of late including when 4th last week. He did miss the cut in this event last year after finishing 4th at the Africa Open the week before however but he seems to be more consistent a player now.
Two Australians have again made the field, namely Daniel Gaunt and Scott Strange. Gaunt just missed the cut last week and did finish 20th in this event last year. He is likely, therefore, to fare better than Strange.
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