In its first start for 2020, the European Tour heads to South Africa. The South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg taking place at Randpark Golf Club with local hero Louis Oosthuizen among the favourites.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Local hope Louis Oosthuizen makes his first start since appearing as one of Ernie Els’ stalwarts at the Presidents Cup in Melbourne with the chance to defend his national open won at this venue in 2019.
COURSE: Measuring 6,862 metres and playing to a par of 71, Randpark Golf Club’s Firethorn course – one of three courses on site – plays host to the South African Open for the second straight year this week.
PRIZEMONEY: ZAR 17,500,000.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
World No.20 Louis Oosthuizen is the unquestionable favourite here this week as he seeks to go back-to-back in his home open at the same venue. The South African recorded four top-20 finishes in his last four starts of 2019, culminating in a runner-up finish at the Australian Open, before putting in a solid performance for the Internationals at Royal Melbourne.
Newly minted European Tour player Maverick Antcliff will be looking to build on a decent start to his first season on the world’s second biggest circuit. Antcliff earnt his place in Europe courtesy of his three-win season on the China Tour last year and opened his maiden European campaign with a T44 at the Australian PGA Championship held at Royal Pines in late December.
Min Woo Lee managed another European Tour top-5 at the Aussie PGA and the West Aussie will be looking for something similar as he chases improved status in Europe. Lee led the driving distance in Europe in 2019 and will attempt to take advantage of his power around Randpark that should suit his game well.
72-HOLE RECORD: Ernie Els needed just 264 shots (24-under) to win his national open in 2006.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: No Australian has ever won the South African Open.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Maverick Antcliff, Jarryd Felton, Min Woo Lee, David Micheluzzi and Brett Rumford.
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 2am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9pm – 2am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8pm – 1am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8pm – 1am)
*AEDT, check local guides