55/1 Larrazabal wins at Leopard Creek

Dave Tindall
Rotoworld

EUROPEAN TOUR

Alfred Dunhill Championship

Final Leaderboard

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1. (-8, 270) Pablo Larrazabal (Odds: 55/1)
2. (-7, 271) Joel Sjoholm (Odds: 150/1)
3. (-6, 272) Wil Besseling (Odds: 125/1)
3. (-6, 272) Branden Grace (Odds: 16/1)
3. (-6, 272) Charl Schwartzel (Odds: 16/1)

Notes: Perhaps this will become a quiz question: which player carded six bogeys and a double in their closing round but still emerged victorious? That was Pablo Larrazabal at Leopard Creek, where he overcame foot pain and swing trouble to birdie three of the final four holes and win by a shot to land his fifth European Tour title. As he said later: "I woke up this morning and I didn’t think I was going to play. I couldn’t put my shoe on, I couldn’t walk to the buggy. I really struggled on the back nine, I have a big blister on my right toe and I said to myself ‘If Tiger can win a US Open with a broken leg…’ and I just fought hard.”

Fate of the favorites

MC. (+7, 151) Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Odds: 12/1)
1. (-6, 272) Branden Grace (Odds: 16/1)
2. (-6, 272) Charl Schwartzel (Odds: 16/1)
19. (+1, 289) Eddie Pepperell (Odds: 16/1)

Notes: Despite his stellar course record (four wins and four seconds), this was still some effort from Schwartzel to come back after eight months out and immediately crack the top three. Grace's T3 was also welcome after his poor form in 2019. One other observation: despite the course changes ahead of the 2018 event, those who did well before the renovations and grass changes continue to excel at Leopard Creek.

 

Coming up this week…

PGA TOUR

Hero World Challenge

Location: Albany, New Providence Island, Albany. 7,309 yards, par 72.

Notes: First played in 2000, this is the fifth year at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas. Two of the previous four there were won with -20 or lower.

Who’s playing? Once more, it's an elite 18-man field. In betting order: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Tiger Woods, Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson, Webb Simpson, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Bryson DeChambeau, Gary Woodland, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner, Bubba Watson.

Past winners at Albany

2018 (-20, 268) Jon Rahm 
2017 (-18, 270) Rickie Fowler 
2016 (-18, 270) Hideki Matsuyama 
2015 (-25, 263) Bubba Watson

Notes: The par 72 has five par 5s. Wind is its key defense so check the forecast pre-event. It's not an official tournament so won't count towards a player's haul of PGA TOUR wins.

 

EUROPEAN TOUR

AFRASIA BANK Mauritius Open

Location: Heritage GC, Heritage Bel Ombre, Mauritius. 6,986 yards, par 71.

Notes: The tournament alternates between the Heritage and the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita. The Heritage was also used in 2018 and for the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2015. This is the third time it's had a November/December slot; the first two took place in May.

The Hong Kong Open was also due to take place this week but has been cancelled due to social unrest in the region.

Who’s playing? Thomas Pieters, Nicolas Colsaerts, Thomas Detry, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, George Coetzee, Brandon Stone, Justin Harding, Zander Lombard, Julian Suri, Edoardo MolinariAlexander BjorkShubhankar Sharma, Benjamin Hebert

Past winners of the Mauritius Open

2019 (-20, 268) Kurt Kitayama – 1st European Tour win
2018 (-16, 268) Dylan Frittelli – 2nd European Tour win
2016 (-6, 282) Jeunghun Wang – 2nd European Tour win
2015 (-13, 271) George Coetzee – 3rd European Tour win

Notes: It's limited evidence but both years at the Heritage GC we've had South African winners (Frittelli and Coetzee). Mauritius is off the east coast of South Africa with a flight time of around three hours.

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