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Chris Cannon will make a second start in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa this week.

Just a sixth start in a European Tour sanctioned or co-sanctioned event for the Englishman and there’s been little evidence so far of him making a mark. His one cut made led to T49 in the 2017 Joburg Open, but he has missed cuts in the Dubai Desert Classic, on debut here in 2016, then last season’s Tshwane Open and last week’s South African Open. He’s been through various minor circuits, trying the Asian Development and Mena Tours, before settling for the Sunshine Tour and has started to find some consistency albeit in the minor events. He was T2 in the Vodacom Origins – Parys in October. Trivia fact: he is the son of the Getty photographer David Cannon.
Dec 10 - 7:47 AM

Steven Brown will make his tournament and course debut in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Malelane, South Africa.

Four top 20s in his first full season on the European Tour saw the Englishman retain his card in 2018, although it needed one of them to be a very fine T2 (play-off defeat) in the Made in Denmark. He opened this season with a missed cut in the Hong Kong Open and T54 last week in the South African Open, when opening rounds of 71-68-68 were marred by a final lap 76. The Wentworth based player is making his Leopard Creek debut, but has started four times in South Africa. He was T19 in the 2017 Joburg Open (T7 after 54 holes) and then last week was his only other made cut.
Dec 10 - 7:46 AM

Morten Ørum Madsen is in desperate need of form as he heads to this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa.

The Dane will always retain fond memories of golf in South Africa, having won the national Open there in late 2013, the second year of three in which he finished top 85 in the Race to Dubai. However since losing his card in 2016, he has floundered on the Challenge Tour. He plays this week off the back of his South African achievements and needs to make the most of the opportunity. His form makes for bleak reading: 1-for-18 since the end of April. His past at Leopard Creek offers hopes though, but not recently: He was T16 in both 2013 and 2014, however he shot 80-74 to miss the cut in 2015, then 76-75 at the weekend when he made the cut in 2016.
Dec 10 - 7:40 AM

2011 winner Garth Mulroy returns to the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa this week.

Time have changed for the South African. He had four results of T21 or better in ten starts at Leopard Creek including T3 in 2012 and victory the year before, but he’s not been inside the top 35 in his last four visits. That 2011 success came at the height of his powers. He completed a second Web.com Tour success the same year and had three Sunshine Tour wins at that stage, but it all went wrong. This year the results have improved on the home circuit and he claimed victory, a first in seven years, at the Vodacom Origins – Parys, but it is lowly stuff compared to what he has achieved in the past. He shot 70-80 in the Mauritius Open and 71-73 in the South African Open, both times to miss the cut; arguably they are more accurate assessments of his current form.
Dec 10 - 7:38 AM

Alejandro Canizares heads to this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa knowing he’s close to a decent formula.

Injury has wrecked the Spaniard’s recent seasons on the main tour and led to a return to Qualifying School this year. Emboldened by T16 in his previous start at the Valderrama Andalucia Masters he blazed a trail of glory, winning the six round tournament. His immediate response was T36 in the Hong Kong Open (T20 after 54 holes) and then T54 in last week’s South African Open (opened with a 73 for T149, responded with 66 to make the cut). It suggests good golf remains close, but he needs some consistency. His course record isn’t great but it is improving: MC in 2009, T50 in 2012, T23 in 2013.
Dec 10 - 7:37 AM

Gregory Bourdy will be pleased to return to a favored venue this week in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa.

Might this be the location for the start of the Frenchman’s career rebuild? He needs it. He plays this week on an invitation having lost his card in 2018, finishing 170th on the Race to Dubai after 14 straight years on the European Tour. He was T11 at Valderrama in October, a last desperate hurrah at card-saving, but that was his only top 30 of the season and he hasn’t had a top ten since October 2017 and only two since June 2016. He’s opened 2019 with T70-MC-T43 which is not much to write home about but here’s where the hope lies: He has five top 30s from seven starts at Leopard Creek, four of them were T15 or better and what’s more he was T3 in 2012 and T2 in 2015.
Dec 10 - 3:58 AM

Gavin Moynihan will tee it up in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane, South Africa.

The Irishman has not shown his absolute best on the European Tour but he has displayed a lot of heart and guts. T14 in the Irish Open in 2017, that one result earned him more than double what 13 starts on the ET in 2018 did. He was just 2-for-13 and it was only when heading back to the Challenge Tour that he managed to collect any morale-boosts. But get them he did and he then grasped the 23rd card at Q School so now makes a Leopard Creek debut as part of his second quest at success. A worry might be his record in South Africa: 1-for-7, with his only cut-made in his first start and that in a Sunshine Tour event. He shot 75-69 last week in the South African Open.
Dec 10 - 3:57 AM

Max Orrin needs to step up to the ET mark in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC.

The 24-year-old Englishman turned pro with quite some fanfare after playing for GB&I in the 2013 Walker Cup, got off a to a decent start on the second tier and yet it has never quite happened for him. He won on the Challenge Tour in 2014 and 2015 yet couldn’t be consistent enough to graduate. Now he is staring a sixth straight year at that level in the face. Four of fives times he has finished 22nd or better, but this year’s 18th in the rankings was his best – and three short of a full card. 29 European Tour starts are yet to reap a top ten. His best was T15 in the 2017 Nordea Masters, he’s missed his last six cuts at this level including last week.
Dec 10 - 3:56 AM

Ben Evans needs a boost ahead of the winter break and will look for it in the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC in Malelane, South Africa.

The Englishman will celebrate his 32nd birthday in round one, can it bring him good luck? He kind of needs it because he has been lingering around the fringes of the European Tour for a good while now and he didn’t excel too much in 2017 and 2018 on the Challenge Tour, only getting the 27th card at Qualifying School. Starts will be at a premium. On first glance his record on the course is not great. He missed the cut in 2014 (72-72) and was T41 in 2016, but he shot 71-69 to be T9 at halfway before a weekend run of 73-75 ruined his hopes. He opened the season with T30 in the Hong Kong Open and then a pair of missed cuts in Mauritius and South Africa.
Dec 10 - 3:55 AM

Can Niklas Lemke begin to fulfil his potential this season, starting with the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek CC?

When he was at Arizona State, the Swede was not just highly thought of, there were suggestions that he had something very, very special. Bear in mind the likes of Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey had played there. He’s also been well respected at home in Sweden, so much so that he first played on the ET as an amateur way back in 2001 via invite. But when he grabbed the seventh card at Q School it was the first time he had owned one having plugged away on the minor tours since 2010. He has one top ten in 28 ET starts which take in all of the 21st century – a stretched out log book which must be a record of sorts in itself. Closed the 2018 CT season well, with three top sixes in four starts, but missed the cut last week in the South African Open.
Dec 10 - 3:54 AM

Thomas Aiken was a popular pick with gamers at this week's South African Open and he didn't let them down; the local man banked a fifth top five in the event in his last seven appearances with T3 at Randpark GC thanks to a closing 4-under-par 32-35=67 moving him up 21 spots and into a four-way tie for T3 on 10-under 274.

That was eight swings back from six-shot winner Louis Oosthuizen. Counting back from this week's finish, Aiken's results in the SA Open now read: 3-MC-5-5-17-3-3. He'd also had some useful form coming in with four top 25s in five starts so his strong performance played out as expected. Aiken cruised to the turn in 32 with birdies at 4, 7 and 9 while, on a more eventual back nine, he sandwiched an eagle-birdie run at 14 and 15 between bogeys at 13 and 17. There were three spots available for next year's Open but Aiken was squeezed out due to Oliver Wilson and Charl Schwartzel having a higher world ranking despite them all finishing at 10-under.
Dec 9 - 8:10 AM

Thomas Aiken was a popular pick with gamers at this week's South African Open and he didn't let them down; the local man banked a fifth top five in the event in his last seven appearances with T3 at Randpark GC thanks to a closing 4-under-par 32-35=67 moving him up 21 spots and into a four-way tie for T3 on 10-under 274.

That was eight swings back from six-shot winner Louis Oosthuizen. Counting back from this week's finish, Aiken's results in the SA Open now read: 3-MC-5-5-17-3-3. He'd also had some useful form coming in with four top 25s in five starts so his strong performance played out as expected. Aiken cruised to the turn in 32 with birdies at 4, 7 and 9 while, on a more eventual back nine, he sandwiched an eagle-birdie run at 14 and 15 between bogeys at 13 and 17. There were three spots available for next year's Open but Aiken was squeezed out due to Oliver Wilson and Charl Schwartzel having a higher world ranking despite them all finishing at 10-under.
Dec 9 - 8:07 AM

Charl Schwartzel led the South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg after 36 holes but his hopes of winning the event for the first time were vanquished as he completed a stuttering weekend with a closing 1-over-par 36-36=72 to finish at 10-under 274, eight back from runaway winner Louis Oosthuizen and in a four-way tie for third.

Schwartzel managed the consolation prize of securing a place in next year's Open but he would have expected to make the field for Portush anyway so today was about the disappointment of letting a good chance to win his home Open slip away. Three back after 54 holes, the writing was on the wall early as Schwartzel swallowed double bogey-6 at No. 2 and he also took six swipes at the par-4 13th. There were birdies at 4, 12 and 17 but a second successive round of 72 at Firethorn when leading the way at the midpoint shows that Schwartzel is still battling to get it done on the course despite saying he's been striping it on the range. The good news? He'll have another opportunity in next week's Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopard Creek, a venue where he's won four times (2005, 2013, 2014, 2016).
Dec 9 - 7:58 AM

There were three Open spots up for grabs at this week's South African Open hosted by the City of Johannesburg and England's Oliver Wilson banked one of the golden tickets for Portrush after twirling a final-round 4-under-par 31-36=67 at Firethorn to finish in a four-way tie for third spot on 10-under 274.

That was eight behind winner Louis Oosthuizen. Wilson's higher world ranking (273rd) meant he edged out Thomas Aiken and Bryce Easton, who also finished T3. That wouldn't have been the case until very recently and after last year's Open he was ranked outside the world's top 2000. The former World No. 35, who played in the 2008 Ryder Cup, has surged back up with two wins on the Challenge Tour in the last four months and showed plenty of that form and confidence this week. The Englishman opened with 73 but fired 66-68-67 over the final 54 holes, outpacing two bogeys with six birdies (all in the first 14 holes) in today's closer. Wilson is certainly worth keeping an eye on in 2019 after this impressive finish to 2018.
Dec 9 - 7:45 AM

Louis Oosthuizen's ninth European Tour win was one from the bucket list, a stunning six-shot victory at Randpark GC to secure his long-awaited first win at the South African Open thanks to a 4-under-par 33-34=67 in round four which saw the World No. 36 triumph with 18-under 266 (62-70-67-67).

Romain Langasque was runner-up at 12-under while Bryce Easton, Thomas Aiken, Oliver Wilson and Charl Schwartzel were T3 a further two shots back. Three clear at start of play, the prospect of trying to get over the line in an event he'd been trying to win since 2002 seemed to weigh on the 36-year-old South African as he bogeyed 2 and 3. But he got the motor running with birdie at Firethorn's 4th hole and kicked clear of the field with red circles at 6, 7 and 9 before eagle-3 at 14. He traded a birdie at 16 with a bogey 17 and a par at 18 meant he matched the highest winning margin since the SA Open became a European Tour event in 1997. "This feels very special," said an emotional Oosthuizen. "It's been a great ride. I've been very patient this week." Next target? Perhaps a first win on American soil in 2019. Before that, he'll also line up in next week's Alfred Dunhill Championship.
Dec 9 - 7:29 AM



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