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DP World Tour: SDC Championship preview: Wilco Nienaber could strike at St. Francis Links

The DP World Tour has stayed in Africa this week, moving south from the Kenya Open to the St. Francis Links for the SDC Championship, which starts on Thursday morning.

WhatSDC Championship
WhereSt. Francis Links, Eastern Cape, South Africa
When04:30, Thursday, March 16th, 2023
How to watchbet365's Live Golf Tracker
OddsJordan Smith 20/1, Jayden Schaper 22/1, Antoine Rozner 22/1, Adrian Otaegui 28/1, Julien Brun 28/1, George Coetzee 28/1, Joost Luiten 30/1, Adri Arnaus 30/1

Jorge Campillo cruised to victory in the Kenya Open on Sunday – the Spaniard securing his third DP World Tour title – and the 36-year-old has headed home to count his winnings.

The headline acts for the SDC Championship in South Africa are a mixture of European raiders and homegrown talent. An Englishman and a Frenchman have been prominent in the betting since the opening show on Monday – Jordan Smith and Antoine Rozner.

Smith, available at 20/1, produced one of the best performances of last year, reaching 30-under-par to win the Portugal Masters by three shots. That was his second DPWT triumph, coming more than five years after the first, and the Bath man is eager to complete a hat-trick at the age of 30.

Smith has not competed since missing the cut in the Thailand Classic almost a month ago. Rozner is also teeing up off the back of a missed cut, having failed to qualify for weekend employment in the Kenya Open. He is 22/1 to bounce back from that flop by winning at St. Francis Links.

Rozner, also 30, is a three-time DPWT champion who claimed his latest title in Africa – the Mauritius Open just before Christmas.

The local lads being shown respect in the market are Jayden Schaper and George Coetzee. Schaper has form figures of 5-6-10 at St. Francis Links from Sunshine Tour events, so the youngster can be expected to hit the ground running. He contended in Kenya last week, before finishing seventh, and can be backed at 22/1 for a DPWT breakthrough.

Coetzee, a 28/1 chance, is a much more established DPWT star. The Pretorian has won five DPWT titles – and four of them have come in Africa. He won a Sunshine Tour event at St. Francis Links last year, so will expect to feature on the leaderboard.

Standard each-way terms of a quarter the odds on the first five places are available for the SDC Championship, while there are also alternative options, including a fifth of the odds for the first eight, in the Each Way Extra section.

SDC Championship course details

St. Francis Links, Eastern Cape, South Africa, is a 7,192-yard, par-72, with four par-fives, ten par-fours and four par-threes. The 72-hole course-record holder is Dean Burmester (271), while the 18-hole course record is 63, fired by Steve Surry and Ruan Korb. 

There are five players in this week's field who have won professional events at this week's venue - Jaco van Zyl, JJ Senekal, Alex Haindl, Ruan Korb and Coetzee. 

St. Francis Links, designed by Jack Nicklaus, staged the Vodacom Origins of Golf on the Sunshine Tour in 2007, 2008 and from 2013 through 2018, as well as 2022, plus the SA PGA Championship in 2021 and 2022. 

Sunny and warm weather is forecast for the SDC Championship, but strong winds as well, so accuracy and control appear the keys to success. Six of the last nine DPWT events in South Africa have been won by a South African.

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DP World Tour: Kenya Open preview: Robert MacIntyre looks for a spark

Three to follow

Wilco Nienaber

South African youngster Wilco Nienaber has performed well at St. Francis Links in amateur competitions, winning a title in 2017, and this incredible ball-striker could be a 55/1 chance who makes an impact this week.

Nienaber has seven top-tens to his name on the DPWT and 25th place in the Kenya Open on Sunday was a solid warm-up spin.

Casey Jarvis

Another talented South African youngster who has excelled at St. Francis Links in amateur competition is Casey Jarvis, who can be backed at 50/1

Jarvis has already contended in DPWT events in his homeland and seems set for a wonderful future.

Jarvis finished second in the SA PGA Championship at St. Francis Links last year, so clearly has an affection for this track.

Dylan Mostert

Punters seeking massive odds may want to consider the 125/1 about Dylan Mostert, who has also shown a liking for St. Francis Links in the past.

Mostert, who won on the Challenge Tour last month, featured on loads of leaderboards at St. Francis as an amateur, and he was ninth in last year's SA PGA Championship there.

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