Charl Schwartzel choked in the final round of last week’s South African Open Championship so, even though he boasts outstanding credentials for this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship, one cannot back him at his short odds.
That Schwartzel is the Alfred Dunhill Championship title favourite is reasonable but there is no way in a million years that the former Masters Tournament champion deserves bookmakers to rate him as three times more likely than any other individual golfer to take out the European Tour event.
Schwartzel loves the Leopard Creek Country Club that has been home to the Alfred Dunhill Championship since the mid 2000s. Schwartzel won the first Alfred Dunhill Championship staged at Leopard Creek Country Club and his course record reads two firsts, four seconds, one 14th and one missed cut from eight appearances. But the fact remains that Schwartzel does not translate a sufficient number of winning chances into actual wins – the South African has won only eight of the 246 European Tour competitions in which he has lined up and his PGA Tour strike rate is one victory from 87 attempts – and that is why his extremely cramped odds are poisonous.
In view of the Alfred Dunhill Championship market, there are three more alluring title bets than Schwartzel at odds of 4.50 with Unibet: Hennie Otto at odds of 26.00 with Unibet; Garth Mulroy at odds of 31.00 with Unibet; and Jbe Kruger at odds of 51.00 with several bookmakers, including Betway, Spreadex and Stan James.
Otto is experiencing the same issue as Schwartzel but he is not trading at single-digit odds and, therefore, he is well worth chancing. Otto’s last three tournaments have resulted in two seconds and one third, plus he has additional recent finishes of sixth, eighth and 12th. Otto is a veteran of Alfred Dunhill Championships at Leopard Creek Country Club, with his best performances being rewarded with placings of sixth, seventh and ninth in the events since 2006.
Mulroy won the 2011 Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club by two strokes from George Murray. Mulroy made a spirited defence of the Alfred Dunhill Championship title 12 months later, his 11-under-par total being good enough for third place behind runaway winner Schwartzel. Mulroy posted his best result in a couple of months when he was 10th in last week’s South African Open Championship and, therefore, he looks primed to push for another success.
Kruger skipped last year’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club but he was 10th in 2010 and ninth in 2011 so he knows his way around the course. Kruger raced home in last week’s South African Open Championship, his final-round 65 drawing him level with Otto in second spot.
No-one doubts that Schwartzel could win the Alfred Dunhill Championship for the second year in a row but, as far as betting goes, would one rather back the title holder at odds of 4.50 or dutch Otto, Mulroy and Kruger at odds of slightly greater than 11.00? Surely the answer is the latter option.
Otto and Mulroy are the Alfred Dunhill Championship golfers who have been paired up with weak opponents and, therefore, warrant support in match bets. Otto is available at odds of 1.91 with Betfred and Totesport to beat Ross Fisher, who has been a stranger to Leopard Creek Country Club for six years and whose recent results, while more than serviceable, are not in the same league as those of Otto. Mulroy is trading at odds of 1.83 with Bet365 to defeat Alejandro Canizares, whose two Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek Country Club starts have produced one 50th and one missed cut. Canizares has posted three top-18 finishes in a row leading into this week’s competition but Bet365 may have erred in partnering him with a strong fancy like Mulroy.
Once or twice per month we will provide you with the latest sports tips and keep you updated about the biggest events.