When to bet
By 4.30am on Thursday
Steve Palmer’s Jonsson Workwear Open predictions
2.5pts each-way 30-1 bet365
2pts each-way 33-1 BoyleSports
1.5pts each-way 40-1 general
1.5pts each-way 40-1 general
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The fifth DP World Tour event in South Africa this season is a wide-open affair for which Jordan Smith holds narrow favouritism. However, the Bath man has failed to sparkle this year and can be left well alone at the odds.
Steve Palmer’s top tip
Thriston Lawrence 30-1
The highest-ranked South African in this field should make an impression in his beloved homeland. Thriston Lawrence was outside the world’s top 500 going into the Joburg Open at the end of 2021 but he won that event and has not looked back since.
Lawrence’s five subsequent DP World Tour starts in Africa resulted in top-20 finishes (19-2-9-8-13) and the eighth place came in the Steyn City Championship at this week’s venue, where he carded four rounds in the 60s.
Lawrence won his second DPWT title in the European Masters in August, then completed a hat-trick with South African Open glory just before Christmas. Last week he finished 14th in the SDC Championship and the burly 26-year-old will fear nobody in the humdrum Jonsson Workwear Open line-up.
Next best bet
Wilco Nienaber 33-1
A couple of cardbusters in strong Thursday winds meant a missed cut for Wilco Nienaber in the SDC Championship last week but he was under par on the Friday, leaving the tournament with an eagle and eight birdies on his scorecard. There is far less scope for disaster on this week’s track and it lends itself to aggressive powerhouses.
Nienaber turned up at this venue last year off a missed cut, then finished tenth in the Steyn City Championship, carding back-to-back weekend 67s. He has won on the Sunshine Tour and can threaten a DPWT breakthrough this week.
Tom McKibbin 40-1
Casey Jarvis 40-1
Complete a young team of rising stars with 20-year-old Tom McKibbin and 19-year-old Casey Jarvis. McKibbin gets compared to Rory McIlroy because of his Northern Irish roots and the newcomer played well in South Africa as an amateur, also performing well there on the Challenge Tour last year and on the DPWT this year. McKibbin has teed up in four DPWT events in South Africa and has finished in the top 20 in all of them.
Last week it seemed that McKibbin’s streak was coming to an end in the SDC Championship – he struggled for balance in the strong winds and opened with a 76 – but a spectacular second-round back-nine 29 saw him make the cut and he went on to finish in 18th place.
McKibbin is a great driver who has a layout he can attack this week while the same can be said of Jarvis, who enjoyed a magnificent amateur career. The Boksburg boy has been contending for Sunshine Tour titles and was ninth in the Joburg Open at the end of last year.
In the last fortnight, Jarvis has finished 25th in the Kenya Open and 23rd in the SDC Championship and this young powerhouse, often deadly with putter in hand, has the tools to destroy this week’s long, open track.
The Club at Steyn City course guide
Course The Club at Steyn City, Johannesburg, South Africa
Prize money $1.5m ($250,050 to the winner)
Length 7,716 yards
Par 72 – four par-fives; ten par-fours; four par-threes
Field 156 The cut Top 65 and ties qualify for round three
Highest-ranked players in field (world ranking in brackets) Adri Arnaus (76), Adrian Otaegui (85), Thriston Lawrence (86), Jordan Smith (98), Oliver Bekker (113)
Course records – 72 holes 263 Shaun Norris 18 holes 62 Shaun Norris
Course winner taking part Shaun Norris
When to bet By 4.30am on Thursday
Time difference South Africa is two hours ahead of the UK and Ireland
Last week – SDC Championship 1 M Baldwin (150-1), 2 A Arnaus (30-1), T3 J Ahlers (150-1), J Dantorp (175-1), E Ferguson (60-1), K K Johannessen (125-1), A Rozner (25-1)
Course type Parkland
Course overview Jack Nicklaus designed a track with generous fairways, but the large greens are well guarded and full of slope. The 2022 Steyn City Championship was staged there. The 2018 Steyn City Team Championship – a three-round Sunshine Tour pairs event – is the only other course form
Weather forecast A mixture of sunshine and clouds, temperatures around 20C, and gentle breezes, with a thunderstorm threat for Sunday
Type of player suited to the challenge A long, open layout sets up well for big hitters, although accurate approaches are needed to find the right sections of the enormous greens, and putting is arguably most important given the scope for three-putts
Key attribute Touch
Four of the top five in the putting stats finished in the top five of the tournament at Steyn City last year
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