Scan for the Dunhill value
David John previews the Alfred Dunhill Championship and fancies a pair of Scandinavians to go well.
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Market leader Charl Schwartzel provides some food for thought this week as he heads the betting for the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek.
He defends the title he won by a whopping 12 shots 12 months ago in what he has admitted is his one of his favourite events on his favourite course.
Very few players in the field have his ability but he did show at Glendower that if the technical side of his game is a little off track then pushing home that advantage in talent is virtually impossible.
- 1pt e.w. Johan Carlsson at 66/1 (Stan James 1/4 1,2,3,4,5) - in-form Swede can shake up the market leaders
- 1pt e.w. Morten Orum Madsen at 45/1 (Sky Bet, spreadex 1/4 1,2,3,4,5) - no reason he can't build on last week's win
- 1pt e.w. Michael Hollick at 200/1 (General 1/4 1,2,3,4,5) - in great form and played well for three rounds last week
- 2pts Jorge Campillo to beat top Spaniard at 11/2 (Ladbrokes) - making cut after cut and Canizares looks vulnerable
So punters now have to weigh up whether the 7/2 on offer about the former Masters winner is acceptable in the hope he will have found whatever was missing to give him a third victory in this event.
I am interested to see how George Coetzee gets on as he bids to make up for lost time having missed a chunk of the season with a wrist injury following a cycling accident.
He closed with a 65 here 12 months ago to go with a T3 in 2011 while he feels that his game is gradually coming together after some reasonable efforts lately on the comeback trail.
He said: "I am not far way from where I need to be. The wrist feels fine and I am rested and ready to go," with a T12 in Turkey and a closing 68 at the World Cup of Golf seeming to back up his assertion.
But at no bigger than 22/1 generally, I would want a slightly stouter price on him getting into contention at not quite 100 per cent and remember he is still winless on the European Tour.
I had a close look back at past Leopard Creek results and what struck me was the number of young, relatively unheralded Scandinavian players who have given the title a really good shot.
I think that is a viable angle in once again considering Morten Madsen's success last week and Thomas Bjorn's exploits in Melbourne should give a real boost to the contingent from northern Europe.
Kristoffer Broberg and Thorbjorn Olesen are the recent names to go close here and the player I really like to follow in their footsteps is Sweden's Johan Carlsson.
Carlsson has earned his playing rights for the season after an impressive fifth place finish on the Challenge Tour rankings that saw him win the prestigious Kazakhstan Open along the way.
And he just didn't win it either. He thrashed his field by seven shots having led by two going into the final round with the most impressive aspect being the cool and collected way he handled the pressure and went about completing the task at hand.
He has since followed that with three more top 10s, including on his 2014 European Tour debut at Glendower last week when rounds of 69-70-68-67 were good enough for T7.
This will obviously be his first crack at Leopard Creek but I see no reason why he shouldn't take to the place considering his form at the moment.
He finished second to Brooks Koepka in the Stroke Average category in his campaign on the Challenge Tour and at a rangy 6-4, he really looks the part for a big course so I expect him to show up well.
I am not a massive fan of backing players after a victory but Madsen is a pretty reasonable price at 45/1 in his bid to follow up.
Victor Dubuisson showed the other week it can be done after winning in Turkey and then giving Henrik Stenson a decent run for his money for much of the way in the Dubai World Championship.
The Frenchman looked bemused by the whole thing after his Turkish success but Madsen seemed far more in control and his patient, methodical approach over the closing holes while those around him were struggling was hugely commendable.
That gives me cause for optimism that he can get in the mix again despite a missed cut on his only start here last year and at almost twice the price of bridle horse Brendon De Jonge, I would rather have the Dane on my side.
Two more bets to go then and I am going to firstly put up Durban man Mike Hollick at 200/1.
Like a lot of South Africans, he enjoyed an excellent amateur career with one particular highlight coming in 2005 when he beat Branden Grace in the SA Boys U19.
He has made a pleasing start in the pro ranks and certainly caught my eye last week when he recovered from an opening 75 to shoot 67-68-69 for a T22 at the SA Open.
That came on the back of a 2-T6 on the Sunshine Tour and although the level of competition is a little greater here, I don't think he will be out of his depth.
He Tweeted earlier in the week how excited he was to be playing here and his delight at his closing 54 holes at Glendower - the term he used was 'stoked' and as I don't surf or snowboard, I can only presume that is a positive.
Finally, I am going to look to one of the side markets on the event and select super-consistent Jorge Campillo at 11/2 to be top Spaniard.
Market leader is the in-form Alejandro Canizares but I really did not anticipate quite such a difference in price between the pair with the latter odds-on in most places.
I am keen to oppose him as he has had a busy time of late and he might just start to pay the price while his course form of 70-50 hardly makes him a shoo-in at the odds offered.
Campillo missed the cut here 12 months ago but you have to go back to Wentworth in May for the last time he did not play the weekend and another steady if unspectacular showing should be adequate to get the job done against some Challenge Tour graduates, the out-of-form dual past champion Pablo Martin and an Ignacio Garrido who has been plagued by illness throughout 2013.