Nelson Mandela Championship: golf betting guide

The European Tour heads to South Africa this week for the Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPS Handa at Mount Edgecombe Country Club in Durban.

The event – the last European Tour tournament of 2013 – will start on Wednesday 11th December and conclude on Saturday 14th December so as to avoid the state funeral being held in honour of Nelson Mandela, who passed away last week.

The event is co-sanctioned between the European and Sunshine Tours, and the large proportion of South Africans in the field will be looking to honour their inspirational former President.

Branden Grace – a man who spoke of his admiration for Madiba earlier this week – is one of the favourites at 14/1 with Ladbrokes, and I like his chances this week. His game is ‘so close’ to returning to its best and he will be desperate to put in a strong performance for Mandela. He’s enjoyed success in Durban before and he’ll be determined to end 2013 with a win after triumphing five times in 2012.

Richard Finch, at 25/1 with Ladbrokes, is one of the form golfers on the European Tour. He’s responded brilliantly to losing full-time playing privileges with two top-eight finishes in his last two starts, including outright second at the Alfred Dunhill Championship. He’s close to winning back a full-time card and a top-five finish this week would probably push him over the line.

Jbe Kruger, at 33/1 with Ladbrokes, is another player in good form. He finished second at the South African Open Championship and 24th last week at the Hong Kong Open, where he held the lead after two rounds. The South African currently ranks 29th on Tour in Stroke Average, 25th in Driving Distance and 11th in Putts Per GIR.

Simon Wakefield, at 66/1 with Ladbrokes, has been playing some decent golf of late. He finished 17th at European Tour Q-School to retain a card and notched his first top 10 of the season at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, where he led the field in driving accuracy – an important facet this week.

Kevin Phelan, at 150/1 with Ladbrokes, is a youngster with a bright future ahead of him. He represented GB&I at the 2013 Walker Cup, came through all three stages of Q-School and notched a top-25 in his first start of the season at the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

Nelson Mandela Championship presented by ISPA Handa advised bets:

3pts each way on Branden Grace at 16/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Richard Finch at 25/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Jbe Kruger at 33/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Simon Wakefield at 66/1 with Ladbrokes
1pt each way on Kevin Phelan at 150/1 with Ladbrokes