This week is one of a handful of opportunities each year when the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) has a week on the calendar without a competing PGA Tour event.  The newly-renamed tour will kick off its 2022 season in South Africa with the Joburg Open, being played at Firethorne Golf Club. 

The golf course looks quite long on paper at a length of 7,506 yards for a Par 71, but according to Google the elevation is 5,500 feet above sea level. Golf News Net estimates that for every 1,000 feet above sea level the ball will travel 2% further.  If we extrapolate that to 10% further, the added length of the course may not end up being a huge factor, but this is a “best guess” for me. Generally speaking, distance is often an advantage. Since we don’t have a lot of history at this course, I’ll be leaning more towards my baseline ratings overall. 

Below are two wagers I have already made for the Joburg Open.  For the rest of my picks this week visit the FTN Bets Tracker. If you’re not a subscriber you can use code “Axis” upon signing up for a 10% discount!

 

 

Matchup | Dylan Frittelli -112 vs Romain Langasque | FanDuel

If you look at just the last month you may find yourself leaning toward Langasque. However we all know that small samples in golf can be dangerously misleading.  That’s not to say form doesn’t matter but ups and downs are expected in this game.  Frittelli had a very poor outing at the RSM Classic but overall, I have him rated as the better golfer in this matchup.  It doesn’t hurt that Frittelli also has a solid history when returning to South Africa, but that narrative is better for peace of mind than it is predicting the outcome of a matchup.  

The two are similar golfers, although Langasque is more accurate with the driver whereas Frittelli has added length. Inconsistency plagues Frittelli on the PGA Tour but he plays well enough each year to keep his card and flashes better form. He’s suffered a lot of missed cuts at the world’s highest level but often pushes for T20’s when playing the weekend.  I’m spinning quite the web here but this is where it’s nice to be able to compare adjusted scoring for tour/field strength, and that is the main factor making Frittelli the favorite here. It’s not a massive edge, but I like the number compared to mine (-127). The FanDuel market is telling you this is 50/50 with no vig, and I disagree.

Top American | Chase Hanna +230 | BetMGM

There are three Americans in the field this week, but I view this bet mainly between Hanna and Johannes Veerman. Veerman has been a mainstay on the Euro Tour for the last two years whereas Hanna has been bouncing between Euro and Challenge Tour events. Hanna had an absolutely wonderful stretch from June to August, before sputtering a bit to end the 2021 season, although he did finish inside the T25 at the Challenge Tour Grand Final. Veerman is clearly the better golfer, no debate, but I don’t think he should be quite the favorite. His lack of win equity mainly goes to Hanna and not so much the other American who is part of this bet, Julian Suri. I like Hanna and I assume the biggest difference between my ratings and the market’s is how the industry views the Challenge Tour when compared to the Euro tour.