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Alfred Dunhill Championship preview: Home hopes aplenty at Leopard Creek

The DP World Tour season continues this week with the Alfred Dunhill Championship from the wonderful Leopard Creek course in South Africa.

There have been three DP World Tour events in South Africa over the last month - the Nedbank Challenge, the Joburg Open and the South African Open - but there is still time for one more before Christmas. And this one can boast the most spectacular venue of all.

What: Alfred Dunhill Championship
Where: Leopard Creek, Malelane, South Africa
When: Thursday 8th December - Sunday 11th December 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Golf
Odds: Christiaan Bezuidenhout 9/1, Louis Oosthuizen 12/1, Charl Schwartzel 12/1, Dean Burmester 16/1, Branden Grace 18/1

The Alfred Dunhill Championship is always eagerly awaited by players and spectators alike, with incredible views of the wildlife which neighbours the golf course. Elephants, rhinos, lions, hippos and giraffes are in the background as the cream of South African golf battles for the trophy.

Every South African in the top 150 of the world rankings is in attendance at Leopard Creek. Louis Oosthuizen, who has not competed since the LIV Golf Miami event at the end of October, has come out of hibernation for the Alfred Dunhill.

Oosthuizen is a 12/1 chance to win his first DP World Tour event in four years. Since a six-shot success in the South African Open at the end of 2018, Oosthuizen has failed to lift any silverware.

The 2010 Open Championship title is his only success on the PGA Tour, which he left this year to pursue a new career in LIV Golf.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout has enjoyed more recent success, with victories in the Alfred Dunhill Championship and the South African Open at the end of 2020, both by emphatic margins.

He has proved himself at Leopard Creek and is 9/1 for another Alfred Dunhill triumph on Sunday.

Dean Burmester is 16/1 for victory, but he will have to shrug off a poor record at the venue if he is to succeed. Burmester has missed the cut in seven of his nine starts at Leopard Creek.

Standard each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five places are available for the Alfred Dunhill Championship, with alternative options found in the Each Way Extra section, including the increasingly popular fifth the odds, the first eight places.

Alfred Dunhill Championship course details

Leopard Creek Country Club, Malelane, South Africa, is a 7,249-yard, par-72, with four par-fives, ten par-fours and four par-threes.

The Gary Player designed layout opened in 1996 and has hosted the Alfred Dunhill Championship since December, 2004.

Scoring has been tougher since course changes in 2017. Two long par-fours approaching the turn (the eighth and ninth) provide the greatest challenge. The 311-yard par-four sixth is tempting to big-hitters.

The course hosted the African Amateur Championship from 2016-20 and again this year. Powerful sorts traditionally thrived on this track, but the changes have made it firmer and faster, with dry, fast greens, meaning more controlled operators can thrive.

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Three to follow

Charl Schwartzel

The 12/1 about Charl Schwartzel has been proving understandably popular this week, given his incredible course record. The 38-year-old has a long history of success at Leopard Creek and ninth place in the South African Open on Sunday was a solid warm-up spin.

Schwartzel has won the Alfred Dunhill at Leopard Creek four times, as well as finishing runner-up four times, and only three times in 16 starts at this venue has he failed to end up on the top 20.

The former Masters champion has won eight DP World Tour titles in South Africa.

Jayden Schaper

A share of ninth place in the South African Open on Sunday followed 18th spot in the Joburg Open for Jayden Schaper - and the 21-year-old local lad can have high hopes of getting his name on the leaderboard again in the Alfred Dunhill.

The 35/1 Schaper is noteworthy, given he finished second in the 2020 Alfred Dunhill, spurning a golden winning chance with a final-round 75. He was sixth in the South African Open when still an amateur and has always looked likely to develop into a superstar.

Casey Jarvis

The 160/1 on offer for Casey Jarvis will probably appeal to punters who saw him finish ninth in the Joburg Open the week before last. The 19-year-old led by three shots during round three, before dropping down the board.

Jarvis won the African Amateur Championship at Leopard Creek in March, before turning professional in August, so he has returned to a happy hunting ground this week and is getting more comfortable in DP World Tour company.

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