The European Tour remains in South Africa this week for the Tshwane Open. With the world’s best in Mexico for the first WGC event of the year, there’s a chance for a player to make ground on the Race to Dubai.
Tshwane Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times
The Tshwane Open is being held this week at Pretoria CC in South Africa. The WGC-Mexico Championship is running concurrently on the other side of the Atlantic but a strong selection of players has gathered in Pretoria to contest this event.
2016 Masters winner Danny Willett plays at Pretoria CC and he’ll be joined on the start sheet by American Julian Suri, Soomin Lee of South Korea and a host of South African stars including Richard Sterne, George Coetzee and Darren Fichardt.
The historic Pretoria Country Club lies in the suburb of Waterkloof. The club has a history dating back to 1910 and the golf course was redesigned by Gary Player in 2004.
This will be the sixth time the Tshwane Open has been contested as part of the European Tour schedule. In 2013, Dawie Van Der Walt was the champion, Ross Fisher of England took the title the following year and South Africans George Coetzee and Charl Schwartzel were winners in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Last year, Dean Burmester came out on top. He closed out with a fine round of 65 to finish three clear of Spain’s Jorge Campillo and Mikko Korhonen from Finland.
Burmester won’t be back to defend his title this year as he has qualified to play in the WGC-Mexico Championship but the home nation will be well represented with no fewer than 56 South Africans on the start sheet at the time of writing.
The weather forecast looks pretty reasonable to start with with warm dry conditions predicted for the first three days. But there could be rain on the Sunday.
Who is going to take the plaudits in…
Venue: Pretoria Country Club, Waterkloof, South Africa
Date: Mar 1-4
Course stats: par 71, 7,081 yards
Defending champion: Dean Burmester (-18)
How to watch the Tshwane Open
Thursday 1 – Sky Sports Golf from 8.30am
Friday 2 – Sky Sports Golf from 8.30am
Saturday 3 – Sky Sports Golf from 10am
Sunday 4 – Sky Sports Golf from 10am
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Tshwane Open?
Why not buy a Now TV pass? For £7.99 you can get a day pass if you wish to watch one of the rounds or, for just £12.99, you can get a week pass to see the whole tournament.
Players to watch:
George Coetzee – He won this event in 2015 and was on good form in Qatar with a top-10 finish.
Alexander Bjork – The Swede has shown steady form over the last six weeks – tied sixth in Dubai and top-20s in Oman and Qatar. He was fifth in this event last year.
Jacques Blaauw – The South African tends to play well when he gets a chance on the European Tour. He was tied fourth in the BMW SA Open in January. He was also tied sixth in this event last year. A good outside bet.
Key hole: 18th. This 514-yard par-5 was played as a par-4 in earlier instalments of this event but it’s once again a par-5 and that means there is a distinct chance for glory late on. Look out for birdies and maybe even eagles turning this tournament at the death.