The Joburg Open is at the halfway point and, as has been the case in the majority of years since its inception in 2007, is dominated by South African golfers.
Indeed, five of the top six are from the home nation, with only Chilean golfer Felipe Aguilar keeping pace with the South Africans, sitting T4 with Charl Schwartzel and Keith Horne.
Charl Schwartzel was amongst many bookies’ favourites for this, the seventh, Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club. And probably for good reason.
The South African is vying for his hat-trick at the event, winning previously in 2010 and 2011. His compatriot Branden Grace picked up the title last year, robbing Schwartzel of a prestigious straight three-in-a-row.
However, he’s got some work to do over the weekend if he’s to make that dream a reality.
Sitting between himself, Horne and Aguilar and the leaders is George Coetzee, two shots ahead in solo third place on -12.
But the gap to leaders Trevor Fisher Jnr and Richard Sterne is a further three shots.
They sit pretty atop the Joburg Leaderboard on -15 at the halfway stage.
Tommy Fleetwood best chance of UK Golf victory in Joburg Open
Tommy Fleetwood is UK Golf’s best chance of picking up the title on this Sunshine Tour event, sitting T7 with three other golfers a further shot behind Schwartzel and Co. on -9.
Considering most of our 10-Tee-20-Vision‘s points in the Fantasy Race to Dubai have come from British, predominantly English, golfers this season, there’s little evidence much of the €1,300,000 purse will be heading back to Europe Sunday afternoon.
The impetus felt by the injection of the European Tour at the Joburg Open, one of four South African golf events it sponsors, has certainly helped raise interest in the competition.
Even then, many of Europe’s biggest golfing names aren’t making the trip to South Africa, rather travelling west across the Atlantic this week.
This year’s Joburg Open coincides with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a huge draw every year, Stateside.
Pros and celebrities take on the stunning Californian golf course, as well as Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Golf Courses due to large number of entrants.
Old Lefty, Phil Mickleson, looks in decent form to defend his 2012 title there after winning his 41st PGA Tour event in Phoenix last week.
The tee-times for tomorrow morning’s golf here in Johannesburg have been announced and the pairings are on the European Tour website.
Robert Jan Derksen kicks off day three of the Joburg Open at 6:54am on the East Course. The top ten overnight will pair off at 11:44am, 11:53am, 12:02pm, 12:10pm and finally the overnight leaders, Fisher Jnr and Sterne, at 12:20. All local times, which are GMT+2.
10-Tee-20-Vision Fantasy Race to Dubai @ Joburg
It’s doubtful whether my old Fantasy Race to Dubai team is going to win the weekly prize for biggest total prize pot this week, given that six out of our ten haven’t made the cut.
I’ll not name names (you can see for yourself), but the four golfers we do have remaining for the weekend’s golf action means we shouldn’t embarrass ourselves too much.
Don’t ask me how, but you’ll see the very last selection on the team sheet this week was Richard Sterne, who sits T1, as mentioned. Then we’ve got Charl Schwartzel and Felipe Aguilar who share T4. Not bad, huh?
Making up our cut survivors is Italy’s Lorenzo Gagli, who sits just outside the top ten. At seven shots off the pace, he’s T11 with eight other golfers on -8.
That might sound like a fair way off the pace, seven shots behind the leaders. When you consider that Fisher Jnr and Sterne have amassed -15 after the first two days’ golf, a win for Gagli is by no means out of the question.
I’m certain there’ll be many more team managers wishing they’d as many golfers left in the Fantasy Race To Dubai as we have.
Conversely, I’m sure there are a good few more rubbing their hands at the prospect of a South African whitewash if they’ve used their noggins and picked a team of indigenous golfers…now why didn’t I think of that?
Have your say:
Can Schwartzel claw back the two shots needed over the weekend to win his third Joburg Open?
And have you entered a team in this year’s Fantasy Race to Dubai? If so, how are you doing and are you in a mini-league?
- Joburg Open Betting Preview (adamsarson.com)
- Fisher joins Sterne atop Joburg Open leaderboard (bnd.com)
- Richard Sterne co-leads at Joburg Open (theglobeandmail.com)
- The Rocketry Golf Organization (RGO) is Scheduling its “First Tournament” in Auburn, Ca. in 2013 with Prize Money; Golf Course and Date to be Announced – Sign Up Now (prweb.com)