PickGuru Golf: MyGolfLife Open

PickGuru Golf: MyGolfLife Open

This article is part of our PickGuru Golf series.

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MyGolfLife Open

This week's event is a new addition to the schedule, and it will be played just north of Johannesburg at Pecanwood G&CC, a course most of the 144 golfers in the field have no experience at. The track was designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus and opened in 1998.

Profiling the Winner

With both the tournament and the course making its debut on the DP World Tour, there will not be any true history to fall back on. Those who hail from South Africa figure to have of an advantage, as they will be the most comfortable in their surroundings.

The track will play as a traditional par-72 at a lengthy 7,697 yards. The yardage will be mitigated to some degree by the elevation in the area, and most of the par-5s are not too long. However, that suggests the par-3s and par-4s will play a bit longer than usual. Add it all up, and distance off the tee will take precedence over accuracy.

The fairways are advertised as generous and the track is pretty flat, so the conditions will be ripe for scoring. As such, we will also lean on those who have been producing early in the season in the SG: Total department.

Pecanwood fits the mold of Nicklaus-designed courses, so there will be no shortage of bunkers and the greens will be tricky. Golfers will need to reach the greens in regulation to give themselves ample scoring opportunities and those that succeed most often on the putting surface will have an edge.

Category Picks

Premium Picks

Players included: Bernd Wiesberger, Dean Burmester, Adri Arnaus, Thomas Detry

Guru Verdict:  The first two players listed both find themselves among the top 75 players in the Official World Golf Ranking and are relatively even in most of the stats we highlighted, save for one: distance off the tee. Burmester thrives in that area, finishing second on Tour in that department last season and sitting 26th in the current campaign. It certainly does not hurt that he is a South Africa native and is also the clear favorite to take home the trophy. The oddsmakers prefer Wiesberger to Arnaus, but we are considering the latter the runner-up in this category, as he has regularly been the longer of the two off the tee.

Front-Runners

Players included: Pablo Larrazabal, Justin Harding, Adrian Meronk, Johannes Veerman

Guru Verdict: It's tough to look past Harding, who was our top selection among the premium picks last week and hails from South Africa. However, we are going to going to go with Veerman, who is not far behind Harding in the OWGR and has the best overall statistical profile in this group. For what it's worth, Meronk hits it further than the other three players and does have shorter odds than the other three players on most websites.

English Lads

Players included: Jordan Smith, Marcus Armitage, Richard Bland, Laurie Canter, Andy Sullivan 

Guru Verdict: Bland is ranked higher in the OWGR than any player in this entire article and sits more than 40 spots above the rest of his fellow Englishmen. However, he also hits it shorter than anyone else in this group, so we are going to pass him up. None of these players are faring all that well in the driving distance department, but Smith leads these players in that area, and he also ranks third on Tour in greens in regulation.

Home Advantage

Players included: Daniel van Tonder, Shaun Norris, George Coetzee, JC Ritchie, Wilco Nienaber

Guru Verdict: When it comes to the tournament as a whole, all five of these players will get a boost, as they are all from South Africa. However, when it comes to this group, none of them will have an edge in that area. Ritchie has some sleeper potential, having already won two tournaments in 2022. However, he will face much stiffer competition than he saw the last few weeks. While Nienaber is the lowest-ranked player in this group, he also led the Tour in distance off the tee last year, and for that reason we are going to give him the nod.

Challengers

Players included: Joachim Hansen, Julien Brun, Scott Jamieson, Matthieu Pavon, Romain Langasque

Guru Verdict: No player in this group is faring better in either SG: Total or driving distance than Pavon, which lines him up as the leader among these four players. Brun is not too far behind, and he is having more success on the greens than his counterpart.

Contenders

Players included: Ashun Wu, Oliver Bekker, Wil Besseling, Julien Guerrier, Masahiro Kawamura

Guru Verdict: If you're looking at recent results, no one has succeeded more recently than Wu, who took home the title last week at the Magical Kenya Open. However, he has notably less length than any of the other four players in this section. Bekker has the shortest odds and is the only South African, so he deserves a mention. However, we are going to go with Guerrier, who finished 18th on Tour in driving distance last season and ranks second in SG: Putting early in this one.

Outsiders 

Players included: Antoine Rozner, Ross Fisher, Brandon Stone, Fabrizio Zanotti, Hurly Long, Jason Scrivener

Guru Verdict: Rozner is ranked higher and is hitting it further than anyone in this group, but he is not faring too well otherwise. Long ranks top-70 in the four stats we have been discussing and is easily the best of the bunch in SG: Total, so he looks like the top selection among this list of players.

Wild Cards

Players included: Sean Crocker, Thriston Lawrence, Matti Schmid, Tapio Pulkkanen, Jazz Janewattananond, Kalle Samooja

Guru Verdict: We liked Crocker as a sleeper last week, but he withdrew just five holes into his first round, so we're going to hold off on him until he proves he is back at 100 percent. The odds narrow our options down to Schmid and Lawrence, and while not a lot separates the two, Lawrence ranks far higher in the SG: Total department, and he also gets a boost as a South African.

The Selections

Premium Picks: Dean Burmester
Front-Runners: Johannes Veerman
English Lads: Jordan Smith
Home Advantage: Wilco Nienaber
Challengers: Matthieu Pavon
Contenders: Julien Guerrier
Outsiders: Hurly Long
Wild Cards: Thriston Lawrence

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin O'Brien
Kevin mans the Packers and Brewers beats and moonlights as RotoWire's Director of Operations.
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