2022 Alfred Dunhill Championship Preview, Picks & Analysis
THE Alfred Dunhill Championship returns to Leopard Creek for the first time in two years with Christiaan Bezuidenhout back to defend his title on home soil.
The South African secured what was his second European Tour title with an impressive four-stroke victory thanks to a 69 on a thrilling final day, ending the tournament on 14 under par.
Bezuidenhout, who started the final round three shots adrift, said: "It's incredible. This tournament has been close to my heart since I played it for the first time.
"It's always been a tournament I wanted to win and to pull it off today is really, really special to me. I'm proud of myself to stick in there and to have pulled it off round here.”
The tournament marks the end of the DP World Tour’s South Africa Swing and once again boasts a strong field, dominated by home players, including Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Dean Burmester, Daniel van Tonder, Thriston Lawrence, Branden Grace, George Coetzee, Darren Fichardt, Erik van Rooyen and Oliver Bekker.
They will be joined by Dan Bradbury, the young Englishman who defied the odds by winning the Joburg Open in only his third DP World Tour start. He is the feel-good story of 2022. The man from Wakefield turned professional during the summer and was only playing in Johannesburg on a sponsors’ invitation but led the tournament from start to finish.
It means he now has a three-year exemption, a place in The Open in 2023 and can plan his schedule. It will be fascinating to watch his progress in the weeks and months ahead.
A number of other Europeans are also taking part, hoping to finish off the year with a victory. These include Spain’s Adrian Otaegui, England's Eddie Pepperell, and Frenchman Antoine Rozner.
Four of the past six winners have been South African and the chances are that we will be seeing another home-grown champion. Bezuidenhout has become a world-class golfer who has shown some excellent recent form and will fancy his chances of retaining his title.
It was won in 2015 by Branden Grace, in 2016 by Charl Schwartzel, in 2017 by Brandon Stone, in 2018 by David Lipsky, in 2019 by Pablo Larrazabal and in 2020 by Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
Leopard Creek is a par 72 measuring 7,249 yards. It borders a national park which is home to a host of wildlife, including crocodiles, hippos, antelope, buffalo and elephants. There are plenty of water hazards and tree-lined fairways, so accuracy from the tee is essential. Schwartzel is a four-time winner and lists Leopard Creek as his favourite golf course.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout. A class act
Charl Schwartzel. Four-time winner
Louis Oosthuizen. Sweetest of swings
Five to Follow:
Christiaan Bezuidenhout. Fabulous short game
Charl Schwartzel. Adores this venue
Louis Oosthuizen. Wonderful temperament
Dan Bradbury. Will be fascinating to watch his progress
Eddie Pepperell. Enjoyed a decent finish to the 2021-22 season
Five Outsiders to Watch:
Sean Norris. Has a point to prove
Ernie Els. Looking to turn the clock back
Scott Jamieson. Has a half-decent record in South Africa
Joost Luiten. Trying to get his career back on track
Jeremy Freiburghaus. Had a wonderful year on the Challenge Tour
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)
comments powered by Disqus