So last week didn’t bring back the success of a year ago for South African Branden Grace as he missed the cut by three shots, but the Joburg Open did however continue the run of a South African being the victor or runner up, in fact seven of the top ten were South Africans including the winner Richard Sterne who finished with a record breaking four round total of 27 under after rounds of 63, 65, 68 and 64 which meant he won by seven shots from fellow South African Charl Schwartzel.
The European Tour remains in South Africa this week for the Africa Open which again is co sanctioned with the South African Sunshine Tour. The Africa Open was first played in 2008 and joined the European Tour schedule in 2010 and the trophy has never left South African soil with the event being dominated by South Africans. The only winner of the event in the field this week is Shaun Norris who won the first edition by 6 shots.
The East London golf club will hold the event this week and it is one of the oldest golf clubs in South Africa with the course opening in 1923 and as well as hosting the Africa Open the last four years, the course has also held six South African Opens between 1930 and 2001. The course is located close to the coast and has many elevation changes with a mix of parkland and links holes with many undulating fairways.
Scoring always tends to be low with last years winner Louis Oosthuizen shooting 27 under for four rounds. With the course playing as a par 73 and only 6770 yds which is extremely short by Tour standards it is no wonder that scoring is always so low with the course record being 61 which was set by Richard Sterne in 2009.
I predict Richard Sterne could be lifting another trophy come Sunday evening, he is a man in form after his win last week and a runner up finish the week before he is definitely the man to beat.
Garth Mulory will be another South African who is sure to figure come Sunday, he has a best finish of 28th in 2008, but this season he has shown great consistency making 6 of 6 cuts with a top 10 last week and a 3rd place finish at the Alfred Dunhill Championship, when he was defending his sole European Tour victory to date.