Joburg Open Golf 2023 – Tournament Outright Tips and Betting Preview

The Joburg Open returns to the open up the new DP World Tour season as a number of players head to the South African capital for this co-sanctioned tournament with the Sunshine Tour. This is the first of four weeks in Africa to conclude 2023.

Dan Bradbury won this tournament on its return from the pandemic last year and the Englishman will be looking to take advantage of two events going on this week to weaken the field a little to successfully defend the title.

Recent Winners

2022 – Dan Bradbury

2021 – Thriston Lawrence

2020 – JB Hansen

2017-18 – Shubhankar Sharma

2017 – Darren Fichardt

2016 – Haydn Porteous

2015 – Andy Sullivan

2014 – George Coetzee

2013 – Richard Sterne

2012 – Branden Grace

The Course

We are back at the Houghton Golf Club in Johannesburg for the second time this week. The course has previously held the South African Open and the South African PGA Championship and now it gets to host the Joburg Open for the second time. It is a parkland course which is treelined and plays as a par 72 with a yardage of 7,279 yards, although it should be said that it doesn’t play anything like as long as that because we are at altitude this week.

Although the course is treelined the fairways are said to be on the generous side but there is water in play throughout this course so while there isn’t too much of a demand off the tee other than distance control in the altitude, the winner this week will be separated from the rest of the field when they have irons in hand. You often need to putt well in this part of the world as well. It was a low scoring event last year and is likely to be the same again here.

The Field

It is fair to say that the stronger field of the two this week is in Australia and as a result we only have two players in the top 100 in the world rankings teeing it up in this tournament. Thriston Lawrence is the highest ranked player in the field. He is ranked at 90 and the only other player in the top 100 is Adrian Otaegui. That highlights how wide open this thing is, although it is fair to say that Dean Burmester would be ranked higher than 154 if he wasn’t now a LIV golfer.

Dan Bradbury is the defending champion and he has a tee time this week while the other notable Europeans in the field include Matthew Southgate, Adri Arnaus and Romain Langasque while the non-South African international charge will be spearheaded by Shubhankar Sharma and Gavin Green. As you would expect though, the majority of the field are South Africans with Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Zander Lombard and Hennie du Plessis the highest ranked among them.

Market Leaders

Dean Burmester is the 11/1 favourite to win the tournament this week even though he doesn’t really play four rounds of golf very much these days. He has a reputation in this part of the world which is very good but he hasn’t really been pulling up any trees on the LIV tour and that makes me think he is a little on the short side here. Burmester has played this tournament seven times in the past, all of which have been on different courses, but he is yet to crack the top 10 so I’m happy to look elsewhere.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout is a second favourite at 14/1 on the best prices this week. He was third in this tournament last year which would immediately have him above Burmester on my shortlist. He is the third highest ranked player in the field and has had some good results on the PGA Tour over the last couple of seasons. Two of his three DP World Tour wins have come in South Africa so there is plenty to like about him, although the price is probably no better than fair.

Thriston Lawrence is the highest ranked player in the field this week and he is 16/1 to win the tournament this week. He was only T33 here last year with a couple of good rounds and a couple of poor ones in the middle. You can’t afford a bad round this week but to be fair to him he finished fifth in the DP World Tour Championship last week in a much stronger field than this one so that carries plenty of weight. Lawrence did win this tournament in 2021 but it was at a different course to this one.

The only other player in the field who is shorter than 25/1 on the best prices this week is the defending champion Dan Bradbury. He is 18/1 to win the tournament. He won this last year at a much bigger price than that so while on one hand you know he can tame the course at a shorter price, I still don’t think his price is in any way reflective of his chance of winning. This is a weak field but he isn’t one of the standouts in it for me.

Main Bets

I took Hennie du Plessis a couple of weeks ago at the Nedbank Challenge and he delivered a part of a place for me. The field there was eminently stronger than the one he will face here so that makes me think that I shouldn’t desert him just yet and at a price in the mid-20s he looks an acceptable bet this week. The reason I took the South African at the Nedbank was his iron play and that is a requirement around here as well which bodes well. Du Plessis was T33 here a year ago when he carded three under par rounds but a poor third round cost him. He feels in better touch going into this week and I’ll pay to see how well he goes.

Zander Lombard is my other idea as a main bet this week. He has the freedom off the tee that he enjoys around here and statistically he is one of the better players into the greens and that bodes well for him. Lombard couldn’t really get anything going here last year but he arrives in decent enough form with a second placed finish at the Open de Espana where he carded a 129 weekend and then solid efforts followed including a T22 in the DP World Tour Championship last week. That is pretty decent form when you consider the weak element of this field and so if he can start well I think the South African could be a real danger here.


Ross Fisher ranked in the top 10 on the DP World Tour for strokes gained on approach for the whole of the season last term and that should have him in good stead for a crack at this the day after his birthday. He didn’t play this tournament last year but he does have a win in South Africa under his belt and in the two South African events he did play at this time a year ago he went T23 and T17 and then T23 T40 in the second set of tournaments in this part of the world. This is probably the weakest field he’ll have played in during that time so I think he has a fair chance of a big run here.

Matteo Manassero is back on the DP World Tour this season after a couple of wins on the Challenge Tour last term and in a field devoid of many big names I have to pay to see how well he goes back in the big time. The Italian was one of the brightest talents in the game a dozen or so years ago and has four DP World Tour wins to his name including the big one at the BMW PGA Championship. He lost his way over the last few years but I don’t think the talent leaves you so if he has found his love for the game and got his swing back he could have a big year. I’ll pay to see if that starts here.


Back H.du Plessis to win Joburg Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 21.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-8)

Back Z.Lombard to win Joburg Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 26.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-8)

Back them here:

Back R.Fisher to win Joburg Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 67.00 with Coral (1/5 1-8)

Bac M.Manassero to win Joburg Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 126.00 with Coral (1/5 1-8)