Paul Williams

Paul Williams' Jonsson Workwear Open Tips 2024

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Last week’s headline selection Tom McKibbin couldn’t find the putts on Sunday to elevate him from a promising position heading into the final day, eventually finishing in a tie for 12th and 2 shots outside the each-way places after a double-bogey on the 71st hole. Unheralded American Jordan Gumberg took the title with Monday odds of up to 400/1, suggesting that it was a very good week for the bookies.

We stay in South Africa this week and move north to Johannesburg for the Jonsson Workwear Open which, like last week, is a low-key co-sanctioned affair with the Sunshine Tour, although the challenge is markedly different having moved away from breezy, coastal golf at sea-level to the altitude of the Highveld where the ball flies much further.

As per the last fortnight, the bookmakers are a little divided when it comes to favouritism with Zander Lombard, Tom McKibbin and Thriston Lawrence all in the 16/1 to 18/1 bracket, depending where you look. Ewen Ferguson, Jordan Smith and Rikuya Hoshino follow in what’s not far from a carbon-copy of last week’s field and market.

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Odds above used for illustrative purposes and were correct at 14:40GMT 4.3.24, but are naturally subject to fluctuation.

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Before we go into the detail surrounding the Jonsson Workwear Open, we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System as The Masters approaches. Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube, and our hugely popular, 6,300-strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

Glendower GC, Gauteng, Johannesburg. Designer: Charles Hugh Allison, 1937; Course Type: Classical, Parkland, Altitude; Par: 72; Length: 7,594 yards; Water Hazards: 11; Fairways: Kikuyu; Rough: Kikuyu; Greens A1/A4 Bentgrass, 12 on the stimpmeter.

Course Overview. Glendower GC is a classical parkland track first opened in 1937 which received a fairly extensive renovation in 2007 with updates predominantly to the green complexes.

At 7,542 yards the layout may look a brute on paper, however being at the altitude of the South African Highveld, which sits around 1,500 metres above sea level, you can scrub around 10% off of those figures and players will tend to convert metres to yards for this type of test, so sub-7,000 yards is a more realistic figure to work with.

The greens are USGA standard and feature relatively speedy A1/A4 bentgrass that the greenkeeping staff are hoping to have around 12 on the stimpmeter by Thursday.

The fairways were narrowed prior to the 2013 South African Open to present a stiffer challenge from off the tee, plus with trees and water awaiting the more errant players this track isn’t a pushover, as was reflected in the scoring when Andy Sullivan won here in 2015 at 11-under courtesy of some tougher conditions from the rough.

jonsson workwear open tips

Tournament Stats. We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s Jonsson Workwear Open, with the course results relating to various events held here at Glendower on both the DP World Tour and Sunshine Tour back to 2009: Current Form | First Round Leader Stats | Course Stats | Combined Stats

For reference, last year’s Jonsson Workwear Open result has also been appended to the data, however this was of course played at Steyn City so should be considered accordingly.

Event Winners. 2023: Nick Bachem, 100/1

Recent Course Winners. 2023: Robin Williams, -19 (Sunshine Tour); 2020: Daniel van Tonder, -11 (54 holes, Sunshine); 2018: Chris Paisley, -21; 2017: Graeme Storm, -18; 2016, Craig Hinton, -7 (54, Big Easy); 2016: Brandon Stone, -14; 2015: Andy Sullivan, -11; 2014: Merrick Bremner, -12 (54, Sunshine); 2013: Morten Orum Madsen, -19.

Predictor Model. Our published Predictor Model is available here. As always you can build your own model using the variables available.

Weather Forecast. The latest weather forecast for the area is here.

A dry start on Thursday is forecast to give way to thundery showers in the afternoon, so some disruption to play is possible. From there on, temperatures will reach around 86 Fahrenheit in the afternoon sunshine and winds will be relatively light at around 10mph after Thursday’s weather has cleared through the area.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors. Basic stats were captured for the South African Open events held here at Glendower back to 2013, plus last year’s Fortress Invitational on the Sunshine Tour, to give us a starting point for this week’s task:

  • 2023, Robin Williams (-19). 55.4% fairways (21st), 87.5% greens in regulation (1st), 55.6% scrambling (5th), 1.75 putts per GIR (12th).
  • 2018, Chris Paisley (-21). 50% fairways (48th), 77.8% greens in regulation (9th), 81.3% scrambling (2nd), 1.52 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2017, Graeme Storm (-18). 71.4% fairways (12th), 79.6% greens in regulation (11th), 63.6% scrambling (7th), 1.63 putts per GIR (4th).
  • 2016, Brandon Stone (-14). 55.4% fairways (59th), 75.0% greens in regulation (10th), 38.9% scrambling (65th), 1.67 putts per GIR (3rd).
  • 2015, Andy Sullivan (-11). 47.6% fairways (41st), 68.5% greens in regulation (31st), 58.8% scrambling (5th), 1.57 putts per GIR (1st).
  • 2013, Morten Orum Madsen (-19). 46.4% fairways (32nd), 80.6% greens in regulation (4th), 50% scrambling (28th), 1.71 putts per GIR (16th).

Looking at the winners and their stats above, it’s clear that no common style of play is likely to favoured here, an assertion backed up by 2012 BMG Classic (Sunshine Tour event, played here at Glendower GC) winner Teboho Sefatsa who describes his home track as, “as one of the country’s best courses,” stating that, “The course does not favour the big-hitter or the deft short-game player. You need to bring an all-round game, and you need to play the course gracefully. Simply put, you need to hit straight and then follow up with quality shots.

The only common factor for the 6 events with data captured has been putting: Madsen was the lowest ranking of the 6 winners at 16th in the field, however Sullivan, Stone, Storm and Paisley all had excellent weeks with the flat stick at this level, and last week’s runner-up Robin Williams ranked 12th for putting on his way to victory here last year on the Sunshine Tour.

Par-5 scoring is another important factor at Glendower and scoring heavily on the long holes is undoubtedly a route to serious contention. Fortress Invitational runner-up Dan Erickson shot an incredible 16-under for the par 5s to eventual winner Robin Williams’ 8-under; 2018 runner-up Branden Grace equalled Erickson’s total when finishing 3 shots shy of Chris Paisley (-10 on the par 5s).

In 2017 Graeme Storm was 9-under for the par 5s with his closest challengers Rory McIlroy and Jordan Smith both producing 13-under totals on the long holes for the week. In 2016 Brandon Stone was -10 for the par 5s and a total of 15 players reached that mark or better for the long holes over the course of the week. In 2013 Madsen was -13 for the week on the par 5s, Kruger was -11, Otto -9, Crespi -11 and Schwartzel -10 which tells a similar story; in tougher, far wetter conditions from the rough in 2015 this was far less important though with eventual winner Andy Sullivan scoring -6 over the week on the par 5s and runner-up Charl Schwartzel one shot better at -7.

Incoming Form: In terms of incoming form, the winners here at Glendower had all shown some signs of life before their victory.

Fortress Invitational winner Robin Williams had won on the Big Easy Tour 2 months earlier and seemed to be rounding into some form before taking the trophy here at Glendower, whereas 2020 Sunshine Tour Championship winner Daniel van Tonder arrived off the back of 6 straight top-10 finishes before winning here at Glendower.

With regards the South African Open events prior to those two results detailed above, Morten Madsen had produced a 66-64 weekend at the Dunhill Links 3 events prior to secure his hitherto biggest cheque of the season at the back end of 2013; Andy Sullivan had also bagged his biggest earning week 3 events earlier by finishing 4th in Turkey; Brandon Stone had secured his first professional title (Lion of Africa Cape Town Open) 2 events prior to winning here in 2016, and Graeme Storm had produced his best effort of the calendar year by finishing 4th at Leopard Creek 2 events before winning here in 2017.

Chris Paisley was making his year’s debut when winning here in 2018, however he’d flashed a little form with a 23rd place finish before Christmas at the Hong Kong Open, including an eye-catching Saturday round of 65:

  • Robin Williams: 8/17/37/MC/MC/1/26/6/MC/27/12/22
  • Daniel van Tonder: 36/3/8/6/33/MC/5/9/7/6/10/9
  • Chris Paisley: MC/55/5/3/MC/12/MC/MC/58/MC/23/MC
  • Graeme Storm: 17/7/71/36/62/MC/MC/25/MC/22/4/MC
  • Brandon Stone: 7/35/2/9/6/12/MC/23/MC/6/1/18
  • Andy Sullivan: MC/52/11/MC/3/17/51/47/67/4/21/MC
  • Morten Orum Madsen: 28/58/38/24/MC/14/MC/MC/16/12/51/63

Course Form: Course form doesn’t look overly relevant this week although that assertion can be tempered by the fact that opportunities to play here at Glendower have been fairly few and far between for all but the Sunshine Tour regulars, and even Daniel van Tonder with all of his course experience had only mustered a single top 10 finish here from 8 starts prior to victory in 2020:

  • Robin Williams: Debut
  • Daniel van Tonder: MC/MC/41/7/55/MC/55/34
  • Chris Paisley: 41/MC
  • Graeme Storm: MC/32
  • Brandon Stone: MC/MC
  • Andy Sullivan: 12
  • Morten Orum Madsen: Debut

Altitude will negate some of the yardage on the scorecard, and with the prospect of rain softening the turf coupled with relatively light winds, this could be a relatively low-scoring renewal and one where players with a hot putter could well triumph.

My selections are as follows:

Thriston Lawrence 3pts EW 18/1 (5EW, 1/4) with Betfred

As much as I don’t like investing such a big chunk of my stake on a single player at the top of the market, in this instance I think that backing Thriston Lawrence is justified.

Four times a winner now at DP World Tour level since the end of November 2021, Lawrence has both the winning ability and local knowledge to succeed here this week, without quite having the sparkling course form that you might hope and expect from a market-leader.

Wins at the 2021 Joburg Open, 2022 Omega European Masters and 2022 South African Open all came at tests where altitude is a significant factor, and it’s clear that the Nelspruit native simply gets the maths. A fourth win at last year’s BMW International Open is more tenuous in its links, however all 4 victories came between 12- and 18-under par and that’s a perfect pointer for this week’s task.

15th here in 2020 at the Sunshine Tour Championship is the last time that Thriston has played the course competitively, however he’s an altogether different player nowadays and arrives here with some trending form having contended in far stronger fields than this in the not so distant past.

5th at November’s DP World Tour Championship was quite simply leagues above this week’s task albeit on entirely different terrain, however he followed that up with 7th at the Joburg Open, 10th at the South African Open and 11th at Leopard Creek to complete his 2023 campaign on home soil.

2nd at 2024’s curtain-raising Dubai Invitational saw the 27 year-old brandishing a red-hot putter, and although the rest of the Middle East Swing didn’t go to plan, 19th in Kenya and 10th last week at St Francis Links after a slow start suggests to me that he could be ready to peak this week at Glendower. RESULT: T2

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Daniel van Tonder 1pt EW 90/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Boylesports

I backed Daniel van Tonder in this event last year at Steyn City with the Soweto man ultimately finishing in a tie for 32nd after a solid start, however if anything there’s even more reason to stick with the South African again this year now that the venue has changed to Glendower.

All 9 of van Tonder’s professional victories have come on the African continent with his 2021 SA Open title, an event that lost its DP World Tour status that year due to Covid, and the Kenya Savannah Classic earlier that year the most elevated of his successes.

Both of those wins featured altitude to suggest that the 32 year-old  is more than comfortable making the adjustments for thin air, and that assertion is reinforced when you add in his 2020 South African Tour Championship victory here at Glendower which he won by 3 strokes over 54 holes. 7th at the BMG Classic here in 2014 saw Daniel in 2nd place heading into the final day, and he was in contention here again last year at the Fortress Invitational in October until a Saturday 77 derailed him, eventually finishing in a tie for 12th.

10th, 27th and 20th over his last 3 starts suggests to me that his form is bubbling away just below the surface, and it’s to his credit that he recorded that most recent effort last week at St Francis Links having being staring a missed cut in the face at 5-over through 10 holes on Thursday. His final 62 holes were amongst the very best on display and he can take that positivity into this week in my view.

Although stats from those last 3 efforts are limited in their nature, 3rd, 18th and 16th for Putts per GIR suggests that Van Tonder’s found something with the flat stick of late, and that makes him a real danger here this week. RESULT: T9

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Adri Arnaus 1pt EW 100/1 (6EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Although Sunday at St Francis Links didn’t quite go to plan for Adri Arnaus, there was enough to like in his overall play for me to take a chance on him this week.

53rd at the Dubai Invitational out of a field of 60 set the tone for the following few weeks for Arnaus, with missed the cut at the Dubai Desert Classic as well as in Ras al Khaimah and Bahrain, however a 4-week break seemingly did the Spaniard some good as he was far more competitive last week, sitting 9th heading into Sunday before finishing 3-over from his final 6 holes to finish in a tie for 20th.

That was progress nonetheless for the 29 year-old who unlike many of those in this week’s field can at least boast a victory at DP World Tour level, having eventually won the 2022 Catalunya Championship after a marathon play-off with Oliver Bekker. Rounds 2 and 3 last week in particular were impressive with his irons on song and his putter increasingly compliant, and that bodes well for this week’s task.

With no competitive experience of Glendower to build a case for the Barcelona man, it’s a case of looking at some of his near misses – of which there are plenty – to assure ourselves that he could go well here on course debut, as many others have done in the past.

A play-off defeat at the 2022 MyGolfLife Open at the altitude of Pecanwood is perhaps the best example of a course with enough comparable characteristics to tick the box, however 2nd at the 2019 Kenya Open and again at that year’s Czech Masters are also of varying degrees of relevance given the relatively thin air at those venues.

Wider South African form is strong for Adri with yet another runner-up finish to report, this time at last year’s SDC Championship, and seeing him improve on last week’s effort and make the each-way places isn’t out of the question in my view. RESULT: MC

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Shaun Norris 1pt EW 125/1 (6EW, 1/5) with William Hill

I remember backing Shaun Norris at the 2022 MyGolfLife Open at Pecanwood where he opened with a 65  to sit very handily after 18 holes before drifting all the way down to 47th, then winning the next week when I didn’t have so much as a penny on him.

That victory came by 3 strokes over Dean Burmester at Steyn City where the Johannesburg-born Pretoria native asked his brother to carry his bag and his wife and family to follow him around, and the rest is history.

Well I didn’t back him last week so lightning won’t strictly be striking twice should he win, however a trip back to familiar surroundings at Glendower Golf Club and the benefit of being able to use his own bed at night might just spark a repeat performance, particularly after he once again opened with a round of 65 last week before falling away at St Francis Links.

Having played much of his golf on the Japan Tour, it’s easy to overlook a player like Norris, but 6 wins at that level – including 2 Japanese Majors – isn’t to be sniffed it. A career high of 54th in the OWGR back in 2020 saw the 41 year-old tee it up regularly in Majors and WGCs at the time, and in this field he’s undoubtedly one of the more capable and decorated players.

Generally a player who’s most dangerous with the putter when playing his best golf, last week’s effort in Eastern Cape was interesting as he ranked 4th for SG Off the Tee and 5th for SG Approach on his way to a tie for 20th. Tie that into this week’s home comforts and the fact that Norris finished 3rd and 9th here at the BMG Classic on the Sunshine Tour back in 2009 and 2011 respectively, and he’s very much worthy of support here in my view. RESULT: T2

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Ockie Strydom 1pt EW 200/1 (6EW, 1/5) with William Hill

Finally, the price hasn’t changed a great deal for Ockie Strydom versus last week and neither has the equation, so sticking with the 39 year-old for another week and potentially staving off a dose of ‘weekafteritis’ makes sense to me.

I talked last week about how Strydom blows more cold than hot, however when he’s hot he can be very competitive at this level – wins at the Alfred Dunhill Championship and Singapore Classic either side of Christmas 2022 are testament to that – and having just made his third cut in succession I can see him putting in a strong performance this week.

Born and bred in Kempton Park and still residing there to this day, Glendower Golf Club is literally on his doorstep and he has the benefit of being able to use his own bed this week, a fact that shouldn’t be overlooked in the jet-set lifestyle of a professional golfer.

Aside from the many rounds he’s played at this week’s venue over the years on a casual basis, Ockie also finished 6th and 13th there in the BMG Classic in 2011 and 2012 respectively, plus he finished 20th there at the higher-grade 2018 South African Open, despite opening with a round of 75. He’s also missed the cut 6 times here, but that’s Ockie and that’s also the chance you take with this bet of course.

31st last week at St Francis Links threatened to be a little better at times, however after finishes of 4th in Bahrain and 16th in Qatar followed by 3 weeks off, perhaps he was entitled to need last week’s run out to get back to full speed. If that’s indeed the case then perhaps he can emulate or even better last year’s 4th place finish in this corresponding event, held at Steyn City. RESULT: MC

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 14:00GMT 4.3.24 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.