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Joburg Open: Look no further than home-grown talent in S.Africa

| 24.02.2015

Since the inauguration of the Joburg Open on the European Tour calendar in 2007 it has been dominated by South African players, thanks to the tournament’s co-sanctioning with the country’s own Sunshine Tour.

Only two men from outside the host nation have managed to claim victory in the eight previous editions of the event, with South African born golfers claiming the spoils in all of the last five runnings.

Only Richard Sterne and Charl Schwartzel have managed to become repeat winners in that time span and with the latter absent from the field this year it leaves plenty of value to be cherry picked from the rest of the Protea participants.

Chief among the value punts from the field is Sunshine Tour pro Danie van Tonder, who is a 33/1 shot for victory with Ladbrokes.

Last season’s Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner fared well when participating in the European Tour’s South African leg, finishing in the top 10 in three of the four tournaments he featured in.

That included a T9 at the Joburg, T2 at the Tshwane Open and a T5 at the Challenge Tour’s Barclays Kenya Open.

Although he hasn’t quite started this season as well, with his best finish coming in the form of a T16 in the Alfred Dunhill Championship back in December, a return to familiar surroundings should make him a key challenger to George Coetzee’s crown.

Coetzee is the 10/1 favourite for the tournament, but is far too short in the betting to entertain, while Sterne warrants respect at 20/1 considering he owns the course’s low-round record.

With Ladbrokes paying out at a quarter of the odds on the first five though, it is Van Tonder who gets our selection.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.