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SDC Championship tips: Zander Lombard spearheads homegrown challenge in South Africa

Continuing its early-season African swing, the DP World Tour shifts its focus to the Eastern Cape, where the SDC Championship has given golf pundit Martin Colwell plenty of betting options to explore.

SDC Championship key stats:

  • When: February 29-March 3 2024
  • Where: St Francis Links, Eastern Cape, South Africa
  • How long: 7,192 yards - par 72
  • What to expect: Coastal layout with wide fairways, penal rough, bushes and water hazards for anyone that misses their target
  • Who won last year: Matthew Baldwin (-18)

In what appears to be a wide-open event, there’s a fair bit of bunching up at the top of the betting market, with a host of golfers priced in the 16/1 to 18/1 bracket. 

The flock is made up of Ewen Ferguson, Thriston Lawrence, Zander Lombard and Tom McKibbin, with Antoine Rozner and Rikuya Hoshino also lurking in the mix. 

As per previous articles, South African golfers are always to be considered in their homeland, and while Ferguson and McKibbin are in good form, Lawrence and Lombard perform well on their own turf, with our final nod going marginally towards Lombard on this course, but there’s not much to choose between the two.

Suggested bet: Zander Lombard (16/1) each-way in the SDC Championship

 

Rozner has been hovering inside the top 30 in all of his five events this year, peaking at a tied sixth in Qatar two weeks ago, while Hoshino won the same tournament before disappointing in Kenya last week, so it’s questionable how much his game suits this type of course.

Further down the betting, further home country hopes rest with Hennie Du Plessis, who can’t be far from landing his maiden DP World Tour success, while compatriot Jayden Trey Schaper enjoyed three straight top-seven finishes on home soil at the end of last year, and has been in decent nick so far this season also.

One player that should clearly not be overlooked is the defending champion Matthew Baldwin, who was an easy winner by an impressive seven strokes here a year ago, and looks tempting at a pre-tournament 66/1. 

The Englishman has not been in the best of form this season, missing the cut three times out of six, and only making the top 25 on one of the other three occasions, but being back here might just rekindle his form as well as fond memories.

Suggested bet: Matthew Baldwin (60/1) each-way in the SDC Championship

 

Outsiders to watch:

  • Wilco Nienaber (50/1) - Big-hitting South African, who could go well if his driver can avoid the hazards and the rough
  • Dylan Frittelli (40/1) - Another homegrown talent, plagued with inconsistency, but is an Olympic medal winner who can produce the goods on the big stage
  • Ockie Strydom (125/1) - Has won on home soil before, can be prone to missing cuts, but equally capable of suddenly popping up high on the leaderboard, so current price could look huge if he makes the weekend.

Suggested bet: Ockie Strydom (125/1) each-way in the SDC Championship

 

Suggested bet summary:

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