• Betting Bunker

Schwartzel to shine at Sun City

Alex Livie November 28, 2012
Charl Schwartzel looks primed to hit the bullseye © Getty Images

Click here to bet on the Nedbank Golf Challenge at bet365

The pot hunting continues in the run up to Christmas, with the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City playing host to the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

Twelve of the world's elite players will do battle for a winner's purse of $1.25m, although the man who picks up the wooden spoon can console himself with a cool $250,000. Not bad work if you can get it.

It may well have an end-of-season feel to it, but with only 12 in the field it does offer the chance to make an informed opinion. There will be many ready to row in with Lee Westwood who will be bidding for a hat-trick of wins in the event.

Betting bullets

  • Charl Schwartzel E/W - 13/2 at bet365

With Westwood having won the event in 2010 and 2011, it is fair to assume that precision from tee to green is imperative given that is Westwood's strong suit. But it is also fair to assume that the long hitters will be at an advantage as the track stretches out to over 7,700 yards from the tips.

There are no short hitters in the field, but if length is to be of major importance then Nicolas Colsaerts leaps off the page. The Belgian hits it miles off the tee; at 318.6 yards he is the longest on the European Tour. If he can keep the ball in play off the tee, he's hit 64% of fairways this season, then he will be taking aim at greens with mid and short irons. That will be a huge advantage.

Current form is also a good pointer and if that's the case, then Justin Rose is the man for you. He so nearly claimed victory in the DP World Tour Championship, only to be mown down by a Rory McIlroy birdie blitz. His second-placed finish in Dubai catapulted Rose to a career high fourth in the world and we would not put anyone off a punt on the Englishman.

However, our idea of the winner is a man playing on home turf. There has not been a South African winner since Trevor Immelman made off with the loot in 2007, but they will surely not have a better shout than this year. Louis Oosthuizen is the shortest in the betting, but we prefer the chances of Charl Schwartzel.

The 2011 Masters champion has been operating like a player on the brink of running away with an event. His last three outings, at the BMW Masters, SA Open and Tour Championship have seen him place 16th, fifth and third respectively. The length of the Sun City track will hold no terrors and provided his usually hot putter operates at optimum efficiency, the 13/2 would look an appealing price.

Please note that odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Alex Livie Close
Alex Livie was editor of ESPN.co.uk