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Expert Picks: Nedbank Challenge

Matt Cooper

Each week, Dave Tindall and Matt Cooper will give their picks for the two main European Tour options – DraftKings and the official season-long 2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai game run by europeantour.com.

The latter is no-salary. Simply select a team of six golfers and nominate a captain whose points are doubled. Points are based on official Race to Dubai points earned by your players.

The DraftKings lineups will be entered into a large-entry Guaranteed Prize Pool. That means we need to take a risk or two, in order to separate ourselves from the field.

The idea is to provide you a list of names to consider. We would not recommend copying these teams, golfer for golfer. Duplicate teams are no fun and don't help anyone.


 

Dave Tindall

@DaveTindallGolf

 

DraftKings

Matthew Fitzpatrick ($10,600) – Have a sneaky feeling he’ll win one of the final two tournaments after a string of near misses this season. Boasts course and current form.

Lee Westwood ($8,900) – Multiple course winner and defending champion. Bounced back to form with T10 in Turkey last week.

Paul Waring ($8,600) – On a roll. Has connected five top 25s, including T8 at the WGC-HSBC Champions two starts ago. Flushing irons and owns a top 20 at the course.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,500) – Winner at Valderrama, third at Wentworth and top 20 at WGC-HSBC. Can hopefully ride home advantage to another big finish.

Justin Harding ($7,200) – I’ll add a second South African. Harding has some Sunshine Tour form at the course (T6 and T8 on his last two visits) and is showing signs of his best golf again.

Chris Paisley ($6,900) – Cracked the top ten here last year and two top tens in last three European Tour starts. Won the South African Open in 2018.

Total salary: $49,700

On the cusp: Erik van Rooyen($10,200), Kurt Kitayama ($9,200), Marcus Kinhult ($7,400), JB Hansen ($7,300), Guido Migliozzi ($7,000), Scott Jamieson ($6,800)

 

2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai – European Tour

Last week: Best week of the year thanks to captain Hatton. Huge points and a big jump into the top 1000.

Position: 889th

Louis Oosthuizen: Grace won here two years ago and now it’s Oosthuizen’s turn, hopefully. Third last year and not outside top 11 in last five years at Sun City. Third at WGC-HSBC on latest start.

Matthew Fitzpatrick: Three top 20s in four starts at the course. Three-time runner-up this season and T7 at WGC-HSBC in China last time.

Tommy Fleetwood: Not at his best in recent weeks but I’m backing his classy tee-to-green game to shine here. Course form of 10-14-21-14.

Erik van Rooyen: The highest-ranked South African on the Race to Dubai. Part of the six-way playoff in Turkey last week and has a spot of course form via T9 in the Sun City Challenge.

Paul Waring: Playing the most consistent golf of his career and it shows no sign of stopping. Form in South Africa includes T19 here two years ago and second place at the 2017 Joburg Open.

Kurt Kitayama: Riding the hot horse. The big-hitting American should like this 7,800 track and comes in off three top fours in his last four starts, including T2 in Turkey. T15 in 2018 South African Open.

 

Matt Cooper

@MattCooperGolf

 

DraftKings

Louis Oosthuizen ($11,600) – T3 when last seen in the HSBC Champions and plenty of superb course experience (12 starts, one win, 11 top 15 finishes).

Erik van Rooyen ($10,200) – A brilliant second last week when he first found the 18th green in two and then drained a 25’0” eagle putt to make the play-off and despite ultimate defeat in that he was very confident afterward.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,500) – Taking a bit of a punt on his game, both form-wise and given his two ineffective course starts, because he insists he likes the track and his game should be a good fit.

Justin Harding ($7,200) – Excellent Around the Green stats in his last three starts (top six all) and ranked third for SG: Putting last week too.

Chris Paisley ($6,900) – T9 on the course last season and made two top tens ahead of struggling in Turkey, but even during the latter effort he played some good golf.

Aaron Rai ($6,600) – T8 on his course debut and plenty of good golf at altitude from him (a win in Kenya and top ten in Joburg).

Total salary: $49,900

On the cusp: Matthew Fitzpatrick ($10,600), Robert MacIntyre ($10,000), Alex Noren ($9,400), Bernd Wiesberger ($8,800), Thomas Detry ($8,200), Romain Langasque ($7,400)

 

2019 Fantasy Race to Dubai – European Tour

Last week: A very poor week. No Hatton on the team when he was popular; the lights went out on me, if not the actual finale in Turkey.

Position: 902nd

Louis Osthuizen (captain): His last 17 starts on home soil on the European Tour have reaped 14 finishes of T11 or better including five wins.

Tommy Fleetwood: Poor form, no doubt (no top ten in three starts) and a best of T10 in four courses starts, but I’m going the cock-eyed route. He’s too good to fail for long.

Henrik Stenson: Struggling with form, but has never finished worse than T8 in seven course starts and was a winner in 2008.

Erik van Rooyen: Easy to overlook his course form with the poor T60 last year, but he was T9 on the Sunshine Tour in 2016. He also professes to love the track.

Matthew Fitzpatrick: T2 in the Italian Open and T7 in the HSBC Champions in his last two ET starts, add in T8 on the course in 2017.

Justin Harding: A tournament debut, but he has finished top ten in his last two course appearances and was happier with his game last week in Turkey.