Joburg Open – 4-under/T55 makes the cut for weekend golf action

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.

Charl Schwartzel at KLM Open in 2010

Charl Schwartzel circa 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

joburg open leaderboard halfway

joburg open leaderboard halfway (European Tour Leaderboard)

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.

10-tee-20-vision team - 130207 - joburg open

10-Tee-20-Vision team – 130207 – Joburg Open

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?

Super6 Week 24 Predictions and post-cut round-up Abu Dhabi

Oh, the best laid plans of mice and men.  In good faith I promised the rest of our Super 6 predictions in the middle of the week.

With snow, scaffold, workmen and disruption we were no sooner getting the rest of the predictions on for Week 24 than any other week.

At least the delay has presented the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: the rest of the Super 6 predictions and a round up of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship after Round 3.

Let’s start with the predictions of the rest of my Motley Crew (you can find my week 24 predictions, here). Herewith:

How unreal is this? Micky D and Ken remarkably predicted 5 of the six same scores. The only difference was the Liverpool v Norwich game.

Ken predicted 2 – 2, Micky D predicted 2 -1. The shock was not in the fact that Micky D predicted Liverpool to win a game, but the difference in the accumulator odds purely down to that one differing prediction.

Ken’s odds with SKY Bet returned at 383/1 for all six results; Micky D’s was just 87/1. I was amazed. No wonder the missus only gives me 50p e/w to bet at a time.

So there’s our predictions for Week 24 on the Super 6; now, how is Team Ten Tee 20 Vision faring at the National Golf Course in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship?

Rory & Tiger fail to make the cut in Abu Dhabi

I’m guessing there were plenty following the Woods/McIlroy/Kaymer pairing over the first two days. Of the three, only the 3-time winner of this event, Martin Kaymer, progressed.

Surprised? I’m not.

Of the ten golfers who make up the first Ten Tee 20 Vision Fantasy Race to Dubai team of the 2013 European Tour season, only two have failed to make the cut.  And they’re not Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods.

¿Que, Señor? I dain’t pick ’em for my team, amigo.

One word – pressure.  McIlroy’s under £80M pounds worth to prove to Nike he’s worth the investment.  Tiger Woods wants desperately to be Official Golf World Ranking’s top dog, again.  Both blew it.  Tiger missing the cut by 3 shots, McIlroy by 6.

Factor in that Rory’s got to get used to his new Nike golf clubs and that he and Tiger were head-to-head in every tee box, you didn’t have to be Nostradamus to foresee their failure.

Martin Kaymer progressing to the weekend golf action, however, was a banker.  Confident, on a roll, thrice winner at the National Course in Abu Dhabi – the German making the cut was a dead cert.

The two golfers who’ve let our side down the first week of the Fantasy Race to Dubai are Ireland’s Paul McGinley and Italy’s Franceso Molinari.  Both missed the weekend action by carding rounds of 149 after the first two rounds, the cut being 144.

Our team’s best chance of glory going into the fourth and final day in Abu Dhabi is, of course, Justin Rose.  Doesn’t he always get off to a blinder?  He sits two shots clear at the top of the Leaderboard on -12 for the first three days, brandishing the UK Golf flag, heralding the 2013 challenge.

The Leaderboard with the all remaining eight golfers from the Ten Tee 20 Vision team is as follows:

FRTD - Week 1 R3 - Ten Tee 20 Vision

Race To Dubai – Week 1 R3 – Ten Tee 20 Vision

Week 23 – Darrell Super 6 Predictions

Well, a very grand afternoon t’y’all. All reacclimatised after the shock of getting back to work? Bully for you.

Fantasy Race to Dubai preview

Fantasy Race to Dubai preview (credit: European Tour)

The first tell-tale signs of winter floated down from the skies over the Black Country this morning at around 9am. That’s all the more reason to stay here, with Thet Watson, and let me entertain you over the next couple of parky months, here in the UK.

Obviously, you can follow our Super 6 league, but first off this week, The European Tour is back! That’s right, all you golf fanatics. Not only will we be pitching our wits against Gillette Soccer Saturday’s team of experts, but also going up against the whole of Europe in The Fantasy Race to Dubai.

It’s been a while since we posted anything golf, here from Darrelldoo Towers. But with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship marking the start of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, we’ll write that wrong with a summary of who’s going to do what both on the PGA and European Tours.

But back to today and the six predictions that make up our Darrell Super 6 league. Remember, we only give 3 points for a correct score and 1 for a correct result. The SKY team give 5 and 2 respectively – I still maintain they nicked the idea from us, last season.

Anyhoo, direct from Twitter, here are Jord’s, Les’s, Micky D’s, Ken’s, Pat’s and my own forecasts for this week’s six chosen games. All from the Premier League and, I must say, none of them are what you’d call bankers.

So, without further a Darrelldoo, herewith this week’s predictions, in no particular order…

And that brings you bang up to date with all of our predictions. Check back here at around 5:30pm today where the results will appear, as if by magic, in the comments box, below. Over the course of the week, I’ll endeavour to bring the league and cup up to speed, too.

I’ll also unveil my first Fantasy Race to Dubai team.  Anyone fancy going head-to-head, you can create a mini-league on the European Tour site itself.  It would add a bit of spice. I mean, Laura Kennedy won it last year – can’t let a girlie girl win again, can we?  C’mon, fellas – let’s have a craic!

Have you had a go on this week’s Soccer Saturday Super 6? Why not let us know who you’ve plumped for, who you support, where you’re from? A bit of banter on match day is always welcome. I’ll even give your predictions a tweet to all of our FeckTV followers – you can’t say fairer than that, can you?

Keep in touch with yourself,
Thet Watson.

Can Dyson clean up again at the KLM Open?

Nederlands: Nicoles Colsaerts op KLM_Open_2010

Nicolas Colsaerts, KLM Open 2010
(wikipedia)

 

The European Tour this week heads off to the KLM Open at Hilversumsche GC; no disrespect to any of the golfers involved, but there is a marked lack of absence of the OWGR‘s top ten European golfers, those who have qualified for the Ryder Cup automatically giving the trip to Holland a miss this weekend to feature over the other side of The Atlantic in the BMW Championship on the PGA Tour.  Well, almost all are stateside already.

Martin Kaymer obviously feels the need to prove his qualification in the tenth and final automatic spot is justified and Nicolas Colsaerts, as promised, wants to justify his wild-card selection into the Ryder Cup team with a good performance in The Netherlands this weekend.

Zebs Teetotallers Week 36 2012

Zeb’s Teetotallers Week 36 2012

As for Zeb’s Tee Totallers, the Fantasy Race To Dubai Team as chosen by yours truly, all I can say is that at least five of my choices from last week are making the trip across the North Sea, giving me a chance to field a full-strength, ten-man team unlike last week, in the hope of picking up a few points after a disastrous week last time out at the Omega.

Simon Dyson, having secured the hat-trick for this title at last year’s KLM Open has to be my favourite to pick up the trophy; if he does, it will be for an amazing fourth time for the same event and an astonishing achievement for the English golfer.  But don’t write off Colsaerts, either.  He will so want to thank Jose Marie Olazábal for his inclusion for the trip to Medinah, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he came away with the KLM, or at least a top five finish, this year.

Zeb’s Tee Totallers also includes Darren Clarke, the recently ousted Open champion.  Whilst his year of being British Open champion was a rip-roaring success on a personal level for the Northern Irish golfer, his attention now needs to focus on the fairways and greens again.  Off the golf course, everything may have been rosy but life between the tees has been difficult for Clarke this year.  Let’s hope he can turn that around this weekend and bag me a few points in the Fantasy Race To Dubai.

With the likes of Rose, McIlroy, Westwood and Donald sitting the trip to Holland out in favour of Crooked Stick, Indianapolis, this week’s Tee Totallers takes on a very unfamiliar look but, each of the inclusions on their day could be in with a shot at winning.  And that’s little to do with absence of the top golfers, that’s more down to the strength in depth offered by the European Tour, these days. If – and this is a big if – I can prise a few quid from her abominable purse, Colsaerts to finish top five and Simon Dyson to win the title again seem like awfully good bets.