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DP World Tour: Nedbank Golf Challenge preview

The DP World Tour returns after a week off for the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, an historic event which has been around since 1981.

The Nedbank Challenge is a 66-player elite event which acts as the penultimate gathering of the DP World Tour season.

Next week the curtain comes down with the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Race to Dubai leader Rory McIlroy is skipping the Nedbank, but his old Ryder Cup colleague Tommy Fleetwood has made the trip, teeing up at 9/1.

WhatNedbank Challenge
WhereGary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa
WhenStarts 07:00, Thursday 10th November 2022
How to watchSky Sports Golf
OddsTommy Fleetwood 9/1, Jordan Smith 14/1, Thomas Detry 14/1, Robert MacIntyre 16/1, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 18/1

Fleetwood shines in Sun City

Fleetwood has a strong record at Gary Player Country Club, never finishing outside the top 25 in five visits, and he won the last edition of the Nedbank in 2019.

That success earned the Southport man a winner's cheque of $2.5million, so he is extremely fond of this part of the world.

Fleetwood impressed last time out, outscoring everybody in the field over the final three rounds of the CJ Cup, eventually finishing fourth. Over the closing 54 holes he was four shots superior to McIlroy, who walked away with the trophy.

Just behind Fleetwood in the betting is the winner of the last DP World Tour event - the Portugal Masters.

Jordan Smith ended a victory drought of five years with an incredible 30-under-par total in Portugal and the Bath man is 14/1 for an immediate follow-up success.

Thomas Detry, who can boast four top-15 finishes on the PGA Tour this season, is 14/1 to finally land a maiden DP World Tour title. The Belgian has been rocketing up the world rankings in the last few weeks.

Standard each-way terms of a quarter the odds, the first five places, are available, along with other options in the Each Way Extra market, including a fifth the odds, the first eight places.

Nedbank Challenge course details

Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa, is a 7,834-yard, par-72, with four par-fives, ten par-fours and four par-threes.

Traditionally only 12 players went to post in this elite gathering, but European Tour involvement in 2013 prompted changes.

The Gary Player Country Club has hosted the Nedbank (formerly the Million Dollar Challenge) since 1981.

The Dimension-Data Pro-Am (1996 to 2009), the Sun City Challenge (2007-11 and 2016-19), the Royal Swazi Open (2020), the Blue Label Challenge (2021-22), the Vodacom Origins of Golf Final (2022) and the SunBet Challenge (2022) are six low-grade Sunshine Tour events which were also staged at this venue, while the last two South African Opens (2020-21) have been staged there as well.

The course is long, but the venue is at altitude, so balls fly further. The layout has kikuyu grass fairways and fast, bentgrass greens surrounded by bunkers, swales and mounds.

Sunny and hot weather is expected, with stifling temperatures of 33C in round one, and light to moderate breezes.

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Three to follow

Christiaan Bezuidenhout

The 18/1 about local hero Christiaan Bezuidenhout has been proving popular with punters who watched the South African Open in 2020.

The home hope dominated that tournament with rounds of 67, 67, 67 and 69, cruising to a five-shot success at Gary Player Country Club.

Bezuidenhout is 26-under par for his last eight competitive rounds at this venue, having finished sixth on his title defence last year.

There is so much trouble either side of fairways waiting to gobble up any loose shots, but Bezuidenhout is an accurate, consistent ball-striker, who does not make many serious errors.

Robert MacIntyre

Scottish left-hander Robert MacIntyre has understandably been catching the eye of many punters at 16/1.

The Italian Open champion has been in a rich vein of form, following his triumph in Italy with eighth place in the French Open, 20th in the Dunhill Links, ninth in the Andalucia Masters and 18th at the Portugal Masters.

MacIntyre finished eighth on his only previous visit to Gary Player Country Club and he has returned a much more confident player. He seems a likely title contender.

Oliver Bekker

Punters seeking bigger prices may want to consider the 50/1 about Oliver Bekker, who won the Sun City Challenge at Gary Player Country Club in 2016.

Bekker, a long driver with a sharp short game, finished runner-up in the South African Open at the Gary Player Country Club at the end of last year.

The South African has a long record of success at this layout and some promising recent form, including ninth place in the Italian Open, makes him an outsider of interest.

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